After missing his entire rookie season due to injury, Jacksonville Jaguars pass-rusher Dante Fowler Jr. is back in the headlines Tuesday for his involvement in an altercation between two women he has reportedly been linked to.
According to TMZ Sports, a woman believed to be Fowler's girlfriend engaged in a wild brawl at a Florida apartment with the mother of his child, and the former University of Florida star saw it occur:
Police said they weren't called to the scene, and no charges were filed by any of the involved parties.
Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union provided the Jaguars' statement:
Dante brought the incident to our attention prior to the video being released and was embarrassed and remorseful. Violence of this type against others is unacceptable in our society and to our organization. We will continue to look into the incident while offering resources and providing support to Dante and his family to help them through this private matter.
O'Halloran also tweeted a statement from Fowler about the incident:
I am embarrassed and have apologized for my actions to everyone involved. As a family, we have been dealing with this moment and the conflict that led to it since this occurred. The video surfacing is a sad reminder that emotions got the best of all of us. I take 100 percent responsibility for everything that happened.
In the video, which is reportedly from Feb. 1, Fowler appears to step back in anticipation of the fight before finally breaking it up.
The 2015 No. 3 overall NFL draft pick is recovering from a torn ACL suffered last May that prevented him from seeing a single snap during the 2015 campaign.
When asked about his condition in December, Fowler vowed to do everything possible during the offseason to get ready for the start of the 2016 season, per O'Halloran: "I'll be here the whole offseason with the strength coaches and trainers getting right and getting after it. I still haven't seen the light. Whenever the doctors clear me, that's when I'll see it. Until then, I'm doing everything I can to get it stronger."
The Jags took some significant steps forward offensively in 2015 due to the development of quarterback Blake Bortles but ranked just 24th in total defense and 31st in points allowed.
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They were also just 20th in the NFL with 36 sacks, which is a stat Fowler should boost significantly in 2016 and beyond if he can return to form.
Head coach Gus Bradley likely needs a strong season to save his job, and the former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator could potentially do some special things with Fowler at his disposal.
His involvement in a fight—albeit non-physical—is an unwelcome distraction as he attempts to work his way back into action, but no indication has been given that it could impact him from a legal perspective or prompt some type of league or team discipline.
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