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The Jacksonville Jaguars are sticking with Blake Bortles—for now.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone announced Saturday that Bortles will start over Chad Henne for Jacksonville’s Week 1 showdown with the Houston Texans. Mark Long of the Associated Press first reported the decision.
Bortles has been on the hot seat since the end of a 2016 campaign that saw Jacksonville go 3-13. During that stretch, the former No. 3 overall pick completed 58.9 percent of his passes for 3,905 yards, 23 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
By the time that dreadful season concluded, Bortles cemented himself as one of two players to toss at least 50 interceptions between 2014-2016. The other was Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who threw 93 touchdowns compared to Bortles’ 69 during that span.
Those struggles were compounded by shaky preseason play, including a shaky showing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Aug. 17 that saw Henne receive snaps with the first-team offense.
“I’m looking for someone that’s going to lead this offense,” Marrone said after the 12-8 loss, per ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco. “I’m not happy with the performance today. I’m not going to sit here and B.S. anyone. Everyone saw it out there. Whatever you want to call it, I’m still trying to evaluate who the best person is at that position.”
If that statement was any indication, Bortles will be on a short leash.
And if he is eventually benched, Bortles may not take the field in a Jaguars uniform again since his 2018 salary worth $19 million is only guaranteed for injury and can be cleared off the team’s books at no cost in the event he stays healthy.
Now officially on the clock, Bortles’ every move figures to be dissected under a microscope as he attempts to ward off calamitous woes and lead the Jaguars back into the postseason conversation.