Blake Bortles may have taken an early seat Sunday, but he remains the Jaguars’ starting quarterback.
Coach Doug Marrone released a statement Monday afternoon saying he will stick with Bortles as his starter because “I believe this gives us the best opportunity to win.”
Statement from Head Coach Doug Marrone:
“I spoke to both quarterbacks this afternoon and told them that Blake will be our team’s starting quarterback. I believe this gives us the best opportunity to win.” pic.twitter.com/eDXVHtUrTf
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) October 22, 2018
The announcement came about 24 hours after Marrone pulled the plug on Bortles in the third quarter against the Texans, sending in Cody Kessler to finish the game. Jacksonville lost 20-7 and players were observed yelling at each other in the locker room afterward.
While Kessler didn’t seem a palatable option moving forward for a team that entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations, Bortles will apparently continue to have a short leash as he attempts to right himself: ESPN reported Kessler will get some reps with the first-team offense in practice this week.
Though Bortles has just nine passing touchdowns to go with eight interceptions through seven games, his overall form isn’t far off his career norms, with a passer rating of 80.3 this year compared to 80.7 over the course of his career.
Despite three consecutive losses, the Jaguars (3-4) are just a game back of the Texans (4-3) in the AFC South, so there’s still plenty of time to recover if they get their quarterback situation figured out soon.
The Jaguars face the Eagles on Sunday in London before getting a bye week for some more time to reassess.