The never-ending soap opera of Blake Bortles quarterbacking the Jaguars will take one more turn, as he will go back in as the starter for the final game of the season with the Texans.
Coach Doug Marrone made the announcement to the media on Wednesday afternoon that the team would turn back to the embattled starter who was benched five weeks ago:
Head Coach Doug Marrone meets the media prior to today's practice. https://t.co/8U9w50z29s
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) December 26, 2018
After being a top-10 pick in the 2014 Draft, Bortles had a largely poor first three seasons in Jacksonville, but enjoyed a great turn around, as the team did in 2017. Being supported by an outstanding running game with rookie Leonard Fournette and a defense that saw five players go to the Pro Bowl, Bortles flourished as Jacksonville won the AFC South.
The former UCF Star Quarterback also played well in the Divisional playoff win over the Steelers which put Jacksonville into the AFC Championship game.
The Jaguars even extended Bortles is contract giving him a hefty $20 million salary for 2018. However, after a decent start to this season where the team was 3 – 1, Bortles play spiraled downward and so too, did the Jaguars season. Eventually, he was replaced by veteran Cody Kessler.
Kessler has been no better and was actually injured during last week’s 17 – 7 win at Miami, and Bortles came in for a couple of different series.
Marrone emphasized that this move was being made more because of Bortles’ mobility then anything else. However, it cannot be taken as any indication that the team still believes Bortles can be their quarterback in 2019. If they believed that, they would not have left Kessler in to start over the last couple of games while he was playing poorly.
One other subplot to the game coming up with the game at Houston’s NRG Stadium is that the Texans can still win the AFC South and potentially, even be the number 2 seed with a bye for the AFC playoffs.
However, with as poor as the Jaguar quarterback play has been the entire season, you cannot say that this move back to Bortles makes that much of a difference for the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and the Houston defense.
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