Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone announced he would start Gardner Minshew over Nick Foles this weekend when the team faces the Los Angeles Chargers.
After a third straight loss after returning from injury, Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles has been replaced for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers with Gardner Minshew, head coach Doug Marrone announced when he spoke to the media by conference call on Monday.
Marrone, who brought the rookie back to the lineup after the half Sunday in a 28-11 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, cited Minshew’s mobility as one of the reasons the decision was made. Also, the announcement comes one week after Marrone said he was sticking with Foles under center because he believed the veteran gave the Jaguars the best chance to win at home against their in-state rival.
Minshew did not overwhelm anyone with his stats in two quarters of play, but he did engineer the team’s only touchdown of the game and was more mobile in the pocket than his teammate. Foles fumbled the ball twice and threw an interception in a 25-0 first-half performance, which drew the ire of the fans in the seats who clamored for the 2019 sixth-round draft pick to come into the game.
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With the score 25-11 and Jacksonville inside the 10-yard line and driving, Minshew threw an interception that could have it a one-score game. When he spoke with the media following the loss, he said this is something he has been preparing for since it was announced Foles was ready to return to the lineup following a broken clavicle that forced him to miss eight-plus weeks of the NFL season.
"“I didn’t just start preparing in that halftime, though. I’ve been preparing for it for a long time. Coach Marrone came in and told me and Nick [Foles] the situation,” Minshew said. “We both talked about it and agreed [that] we’re going to do everything we can to get us back in the game.”"
For the season, Minshew has thrown for 2.432 yards, with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. He was 4-4 as a starter in Foles’ absence and was honored as the Pepsi Rookie of the Week six of the first eight weeks of the season.
While Foles took the majority of the reps in practice the past three games, Minshew did say the coaching staff has designed workouts for him to remain fresh and ready if called upon during the game. He credits that with helping him step in as he did on Sunday.
"“They did an extra 7-on-7 period for me, which was awesome,” he said. “They didn’t have to do that. I’m super appreciative of the reps they’ve been giving me to help keep me ready and be as ready as possible.”"
For the Game, Minshew was 16 of 27 passing for 147 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. He also eight yards rushing on two attempts.