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Open Locker Room: Henne approach the same

Posted Sep 11, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Chad Henne on starting against Raiders Sunday: “My job is to play as well as I can and hopefully, just keep the job.”

JACKSONVILLE – Chad Henne is approaching this the way he knows how.

It’s yet another opportunity to start at quarterback in the NFL, a second chance to start for the Jaguars, and the first this season. So, he’ll approach it as he approached the one last season, and as he approached this past offseason.

He’ll prepare, and play the best he can, because the future and the past don’t matter this week.

All that matters is this week. All that matters is now.

“My preparation isn’t going to change from last week,” Henne said Wednesday as the Jaguars (0-1) prepared to play the Oakland Raiders (0-1) at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., Sunday at 4:25 p.m.

“I’m just going to go in and watch film, try to make some plays out there, and pay attention to details.”

Henne moved into the starting lineup Monday when Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley announced that Blaine Gabbert would miss at least a week with a laceration on his throwing hand. Gabbert needed 15 stiches on the area after Sunday’s game.

“You never expect anything like that, but anything can happen in this league,” Henne said. “You have to prepare like you’re the starter, and take your opportunity.”

Henne said he is approaching Sunday’s game as a chance to win, and also to show coaches he deserves to retain the starting position.

“My job is to play as well as I can and hopefully, just keep the job,” Henne said. “That’s how I’m going to play.”

Gabbert won the starting job over Henne two weeks into preseason.

“I’ve had a couple of bumps in the road, but the great thing about this football season is it’s a long year,” Gabbert said. “We’ve got 15 weeks to change it around and hopefully we won’t have any more injuries for me personally.”

Gabbert completed 16 of 35 passes for 121 yards and no touchdowns with two interceptions Sunday. Each interception led directly to a Chiefs touchdown.

Gabbert is being held out to prevent infection on the hand, which had skin removed by the laceration.

“In these early stages, the risk for infection Is pretty high,” Gabbert said. “We’re doing our best to eliminate everything that can go wrong.”

Gabbert said he doesn’t know a timetable on his return, and that he will be evaluated after the Oakland game. He also said he looks at the hand each day.

“I get to look at it,” Gabbert said with a smile. “It doesn’t look pretty at all.”

Henne completed three of six passes for 36 yards Sunday, replacing Gabbert when the latter was injured on the Jaguars’ final series. Henne started the final six games last season, and started 31 games for Miami from 2009-2011.

Gabbert and Henne competed throughout the offseason and training camp and through two preseason games for the starting position, taking essentially the same amount of repetitions with the first team. Henne started the final two preseason games after Gabbert sustained a thumb injury.

“It’s definitely beneficial,” Henne said. “Getting some reps with the ones those last two preseason games will help me out, getting some more timing. Even this week, going over the whole game plan, getting all the reps with the ones, will all be beneficial for Sunday.”

Wide receiver Cecil Shorts said experience with Henne will help,

“Chad has numerous repetitions with the ones because they were battling all camp,” wide receiver Cecil Shorts III said. “I’m definitely comfortable with Chad being back there and as an offense I think we’re definitely

Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew said the team is comfortable with Henne or Gabbert as a starter.

“We talked about it early in the year, that we’re able to have two quarterbacks who can start in the league,” Jones-Drew said. “Obviously, Chad has started before. He’s experienced. You never go into a season thinking you’re going to use your backup quarterback that quickly, but we’re very confident in Chad. We’re going to go out there and play.”

Also Wednesday:

*Offensive guard Will Rackely said he won’t practice Wednesday but hopes to play Sunday. Rackley sustained a lateral knee sprain Sunday.



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