Blake Bortles will get one more chance.
The Jacksonville Jaguars announced on Saturday morning Bortles will start the regular-season opener at the Houston Texans. Bortles was benched for Chad Henne in the third preseason game, though he played fairly well in that game, completing 12-of-16 passes for 125 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Apparently that was enough to get the starting job back.
Presumably Bortles will have perhaps the shortest leash among any NFL starting quarterbacks heading into the season. But he has the job.
From the Jaguars perspective, it makes sense that they’d want to give Bortles every single possibility to become a long-term starter. He was the third pick of the 2014 draft. He has shown some signs he can be a viable NFL quarterback, albeit mostly in garbage time. When a quarterback with that draft pedigree as a 4,428-yard, 35-touchdown season on his resume, as Bortles has from 2015, it’s hard to give up. The clamor for Henne to start ignored that Henne isn’t a very good quarterback, and he’s 32 years old. He has 53 NFL starts and a 75.5 career passer rating. We know what to expect from Henne.
The danger in starting Bortles is the Jaguars picked up his fifth-year option, and that $19 million salary next year will be guaranteed if Bortles gets injured. But the Jaguars had to gamble that Bortles, who is just 25, will take advantage of this chance after it looked like Henne would be given the job.
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