Blaine Gabbert may have known this say was coming. The Jacksonville Jaguars had to have some idea this might come to fruition. The fans may have hoped for it and the media now has something more to write about it now that the decision has been made.
Chad Henne is now the starting quarterback in Jacksonville and will start his third consecutive game for the team when the Jaguars face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon at Wembley Stadium. Henne – who has only one a single game as a starter in Jacksonville since joining the team in 2012 – has thrown for more than 300 yards in his last two games, both losses to AFC West teams Denver and San Diego.
“It’s a tough situation, I’m sure [for Gabbert],” coach Gus Bradley said in an interview from London and read on Jacksonville.com. “He’s a really strong competitor. It’s just one of those things where we wanted to build on what Chad has done the last couple of weeks and see where it takes us.”
The resume for Gabbert has been atrocious since he started for the team three games into his rookie season in 2011. Since then, the Missouri product has compiled a 5-22 record as a starter.
No one in the NFL can sustain that lack of momentum and remain in control of an offense.
Gabbert took the news from Bradley and the coaching staff well, saying he has not had the chance to practice with the team as much as Henne, although he was named the starter in the preseason and has suffered a string of injuries that have prevented him from being in practice and on the playing field.
Gabbert’s latest injury was to his hamstring and was suffered in the third quarter of a 34-20 loss to the St. Louis Rams on the road.
“It’s my job to go out there and prove I can stay healthy and prove I can play at a high level to make it hard on the coaches [to not play him],” Gabbert said.
The Jaguars have the week off next week before traveling to Tennessee for a date with the division rivals the Texans. Jacksonville is trying to avoid an 0-8 start to the season – which would match the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the worst record in the NFL this season.
Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said the team has not completely shut the door on Gabbert as a starter this season, but he wants to see more out of the third-year pro before he would merit consideration for playing time.
Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch wants to see three things from Gabbert in practice to merit consideration for a start.
“No. 1, a certain leadership when you walk onto the field that you’re excited to be back and you show that energy out there,” Fisch said in the same Jacksonville.com story that Bradley was quoted in. “No. 2, when he runs the scout team, he’ll give himself some chances to show he can move in the pocket and that his hamstring is at a point where he’s able to dodge trouble. … And No. 3, we’ll evaluate his accuracy because even though you’re throwing to non-starting wide receivers or non-starting backs, it’s still critical that you’re able to put the ball on them.”