And Gus Bradley is fine with that.
Henne, who competed for the starting job throughout the offseason, moved back into the starting lineup for at least a week Monday, with Bradley – the team’s first-year head coach – announcing that
Gabbert’s injury – sustained late in a loss to Kansas City Sunday – required 15 stitches, and Bradley said the team ruled Gabbert out to reduce the risk of further infection in practice or games.
Henne competed with Gabbert for the starting position through the second preseason game, and Bradley said Henne has worked with the offense enough to be ready Sunday.
“We have a guy who is seasoned and who has played a lot of football for us,” Bradley said Monday, a day after the Jaguars’ 28-2 loss to the Chiefs in the 2013 regular-season opener at EverBank Field.
Henne and Gabbert each took nearly the same amount of practice and game repetitions with the first team through the second week of the preseason, after which Gabbert was named the starter. Because Gabbert missed the final two games of the preseason with a thumb injury, Henne worked with the starters during those two weeks.
“We have a lot of faith in Chad,” Bradley said. “He’s a guy we felt strongly about through the whole process. Hopefully, we won’t miss a beat.”
“That would be a good thing,” he said, laughing and adding, “We don’t even think like that. We want to put Chad in a position to win.”
Gabbert, a game-time decision on Sunday because of the thumb injury, completed 16 of 35 passes for 121 yards and two interceptions with no touchdowns against the Chiefs, being sacked six times and pressured on 11 plays.
“One thing that impressed us about Blaine is he stood in there,” Bradley said. “He showed great toughness in the pocket. To have that kind of heat on you through the day, that’s tough on a quarterback. That part of it I was really pleased with.”
Bradley said it was possible Gabbert had some rustiness because of the lack of practice time before the opener.
“But I thought he handled it pretty well,” Bradley said.
Bradley said the major concern regarding Gabbert was keeping the lacerated area clean to reduce the chance of infection. He will be reevaluated after the Raiders game, Bradley said.
“We’re going to handle that right,” Bradley said, adding that Gabbert could return for the Seattle game September 22 or for a home game against Indianapolis September 29.
“It was pretty severe,” Bradley added. “They’re worried that some of the skin isn’t there. It ripped off part of the skin. Some of the areas are open even though they were stitched. The biggest thing is keeping it clean. We’ll make sure that’s addressed.”
Bradley, who said he expects Gabbert will travel with the team to Oakland, said his confidence in Gabbert remains high.
“The guy is a competitor,” Bradley said. “I have no problem standing up for Blaine Gabbert and what he brings to our team.”
Also around the Jaguars:
*Bradley said Monday he thought rookie safety
*Forsett on the 178 total yards by the Jaguars Sunday: “The plays were there. We just didn’t execute. When you’re playing a team like that, you have to execute and we didn’t do it.”
*Forsett rushed once for seven yards, and also caught four passes for 22 yards. “He was a bright spot for us,” Bradley said.