The Jacksonville Jaguars no doubt had a long flight home from London after Sunday’s 26-3 loss to the Texans, a team they were a few millimeters away from beating in Week 2. They will also have a long two weeks until their next game. During that time, the team will have to consider its next move at quarterback with rookie Gardner Minshew struggling on Sunday and Nick Foles nearing his return after breaking his collarbone in Week 1.
Minshew has more than held his own in his eight starts, guiding the Jaguars to a 4-4 record. He’s had his share of struggles, but there have also been moments of brilliance, leading to the term “Minshew Magic” to be thrown around, not to mention speculation that he could keep the starting job even after Foles returns from IR. Of course, that was before Sunday’s game. While he ended up with over 300 passing yards, Minshew also threw two interceptions, lost two fumbles, and led an offense that only scored three points.
In a way, such a poor performance might make it easier to hand the reins back to Foles. After all, the Jags signed Foles to a four-year, $88 million contract during the off-season that includes over $50 million in guaranteed money. They didn’t do that so he could serve as the backup to a 6th-round rookie. But for Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone, it may not be that simple.
Marrone says he will “step away” and take a short break ahead of next week’s bye. After that, he will talk to both Minshew and Foles and come to a decision by next weekend about who will start Week 11 when the Jaguars play the Colts on the road.
“It’s not one game. It’ll be a body of work,” Marrone said of how he’ll decide between Minshew and Foles.
Ultimately, it’d be surprising to see the Jaguars stick with Minshew. The rookie has done a great job of keeping Jacksonville within striking distance of a playoff spot, but if Foles is healthy, he gives the Jaguars the best chance to win. After all, being inserted as the starter late in the season and sparking his team has become a specialty of Foles during his career. Even if the circumstances are a little different, why not see if he can do it again?