Dec 29, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne (7) throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Jacksonville 30-10. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

When Does Blake Bortles Start for the Jacksonville Jaguars?

May 9, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Blake Bortles (Central Florida) addresses the media at the Upper West Touchdown Club at EverBank Field a day after being selected as the third overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell selected quarterback Blake Bortles with the third overall pick with a plan in mind – sit the young passer until he’s ready to play.

While we currently are in a day and age where rookie quarterbacks start sooner rather than later, the intent to start Chad Henne through the 2014 season seems genuine. The Jaguars haven’t exactly resigned themselves to a losing season, but it’s clear Caldwell and company believe this team is probably another season away from competing.

Still, there will be plenty of temptation to start Bortles over Henne as the season progresses – particularly if Henne and the team is struggling mightily.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the schedule and see when the best opportunity for Bortles to play might be.

Week 17-Sep
Philadelphia EaglesJacksonville Jaguars1 P.M.CBS
Week 214-SepWashington RedskinsJacksonville Jaguars1 P.M.CBS
Week 321-Sep
Jacksonville JaguarsIndianapolis Colts1 P.M.CBS
Week 428-Sep
San Diego ChargersJacksonville Jaguars4:05 P.M.CBS
Week 55-Oct
Jacksonville JaguarsPittsburgh Steelers1 P.M.CBS
Week 612-Oct
Tennessee TitansJacksonville Jaguars1 P.M.CBS
Week 719-Oct
Jacksonville JaguarsCleveland Browns1 P.M.CBS
Week 826-Oct
Jacksonville JaguarsMiami Dolphins1 P.M.CBS
Week 92-Nov
Cincinnati BengalsJacksonville Jaguars1 P.M.CBS
Week 109-Nov
Jacksonville JaguarsDallas Cowboys5 P.M.FOX
Week 11BYE
Week 1223-Nov
Indianapolis ColtsJacksonville Jaguars1 P.M.CBS
Week 1330-Nov
Jacksonville JaguarsNew York Giants1 P.M.FOX
Week 147-Dec
Jacksonville JaguarsHouston Texans1 P.M.CBS
Week 1514-Dec
Baltimore RavensJacksonville Jaguars1 P.M.CBS
Week 1618-Dec
Jacksonville JaguarsTennessee Titans8:25P.M.NFLN
Week 1728-Dec
Houston TexansJacksonville Jaguars1 P.M.CBS

Assuming Bortles doesn’t start the season, I would expect Henne to stay at the top of the depth chart if the Jaguars are winning games. At a minimum, I expect Henne to make it through the first 4 games, even if the Jaguars start 0-2 or 0-3. If Henne is struggling and the offense hasn’t gotten started by week 5, we could see Bortles starting at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Although Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley have both said they would prefer Bortles to sit the entire season, I get the inkling they would like to see him ready for the Colts after the bye week. The extra time during the bye week would be ideal to help get the rookie ready, and there’s a chance the Jaguars are realistically out of playoff contention.

Ultimately, I think Chad Henne’s play will affect this decision more than the team’s record. Even if the Jaguars are playing relatively well heading into the bye (5-5 or 6-4), Bortles should be an option if Henne is being more of a detriment than an asset.

My verdict – Bortles starts week 5 at home against the Steelers.


-Daniel Lago

Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89

Next Jaguars Game Full schedule »
Sunday, Oct 2626 Oct1:00Miami DolphinsBuy Tickets

Tags: Blake Bortles Chad Henne Jacksonville Jaguars

comments powered by Disqus