JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Minshew Mania is back.
Coach Doug Marrone said on Monday that rookie Gardner Minshew II will start at quarterback over Nick Foles for the Jaguars in Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The plan is to start Minshew the remainder of the season.
It was a move that became obvious after Foles’ fourth straight loss as a starter on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had little time to throw and produced three turnovers and three three-and-outs in a disastrous opening half.
“Gardner’s going to start for us. Obviously, it was a tough deal, Nick coming back from injury and us not being able to do a good enough job around him really,” Marrone said.
“So, we feel with Gardner’s mobility and elusiveness, it will give us a better chance of winning with the way we’re playing right now because we’re all not doing a good enough job, coaches, … we’ve got to keep it going. That’s what we’re doing going forward right now.”
Minshew, a sixth-round draft pick from Washington State, is 4-4 as a starter. He led the Jaguars on two scoring drives against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Sunday’s 28-11 loss.
His mobility is a big reason for the switch, Marrone said.
Jacksonville’s offensive line, a major issue last year, hasn’t shown much improvement this season. Minshew’s ability to get out of the pocket and extend plays against the rush is something that Foles lacks. That’s why News4Jax sports analyst Mark Brunell said he agrees with Marrone’s decision.
At least for now, it ends the Foles era with the Jaguars. Jacksonville signed Foles in the offseason to be its franchise quarterback, giving him an $88 million deal, with $50 million guaranteed.
It has been an up-and-down ride.
Foles suffered a broken collarbone in the season opener against the Chiefs and returned from injured reserve for the team’s game at Indianapolis on Nov. 17, a 33-13 loss.
Foles started games against the Titans (42-20 loss) and Sunday’s debacle against the Buccaneers (28-11 loss). He was pulled at halftime against Tampa Bay after committing three turnovers and the Jaguars in a 25-0 hole.
The offensive line didn’t give Foles much positive to work with. His two fumbles were under a heavy rush and he was sacked three times.
In a little over 10 quarters of play with the Jaguars, Foles has passed for 734 yards, three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.
Minshew has passed for 2,432 yards, 14 touchdowns and five interceptions.