JACKSONVILLE – Nick Foles again is the Jaguars’ starting quarterback.
Head Coach Doug Marrone on Tuesday morning decided on the answer to the question that has been on the minds of Jaguars observers, and he announced it a short time later.
“Nick will be our starting quarterback going forward,” Marrone said early Tuesday afternoon.
Rookie Gardner Minshew II, a sixth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, had started at quarterback the last eight games. He had moved into the starting lineup when Foles – who signed with the team as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason – sustained a broken clavicle 11 plays into the Jaguars’ season-opening loss to Kansas City.
Foles, the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player for the Philadelphia Eagles following the 2017 season, will start the Jaguars’ next game – at Indianapolis November 17. The Jaguars are off this week.
“I just go back to the experience – and what he’s going to be able to do,” Marrone said. “I think that’s going to give us the ability – a better chance of winning right now.”
Marrone added, “I feel that right now we have two really good quarterbacks.”
Marrone, speaking at his lone media availability of the team’s 2019 bye week, also explained why he opted to announce his decision on Tuesday. He had said following a 26-3 loss to the Houston Texans at Wembley Stadium in London Sunday that he expected to decide between Foles and Minshew this weekend.
Marrone said he originally set the coming weekend as his time frame to give himself time if necessary. Instead, he decided Tuesday.
“I thought, once you come to a decision, you might as well tell the people,” Marrone said.
Marrone specified that it was his decision, and said he spoke to Foles and Minshew before informing the team Tuesday during a team meeting. He held his media availability immediately thereafter.
Minshew, after struggling enough during the preseason that Marrone was unsure until late in the preseason if he would be Foles’ backup, threw 13 touchdowns with four interceptions while going 4-4 as a starter.
“Gardner’s a competitor,’’ Marrone said of Minshew. “He’s done a great job. I feel a whole lot different about him now than I did prior to him playing in a very positive way. We had some discussions on things that we’re going to work on going forward that will give him the ability to be a player in this league for a long time.”
Marrone was asked Minshew’s reaction to the news.
“When I say someone’s a competitor and they hear things like that, I think they can figure it out,” Marrone said.
Minshew had one of his worst games in eight starts against Houston, throwing no touchdowns with two interceptions. He had four turnovers in the fourth quarter, including two lost fumbles.
“I tried to take that out and put it as a body of work, and that’s what I did,” Marrone said. “I think that’s important. I think emotions can run sometimes differently. I looked at the body of work.”
Foles returned to practice three weeks ago, and Marrone said the team progressively worked him into practice situations to simulate game situations and prepare him to return.
“We felt we did the best job to make sure he was in a position to be ready once he was healthy,” Marrone said.