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Marrone on Monday: Minshew to start Sunday

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II looks for a receiver against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II looks for a receiver against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

JACKSONVILLE – The new quarterback is the old quarterback. Or something like that.

Gardner Minshew II, the Jaguars' starting quarterback through the first seven games of the season, will start for the first time since then against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday. Head Coach Doug Marrone announced the decision on a Monday media conference call.

"Gardner's going to go ahead and get the start this week," Marrone said.

Marrone's decision came a day after Minshew replaced an ineffective Mike Glennon in the third quarter of a 31-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville – and marked the fourth quarterback change for the Jaguars (1-12) this season.

"We're going to keep trying to do things and keep working to see … whatever the combination is and whatever we have to do coaching-wise," Marrone said. "We're not going to just stalemate ourselves. We're constantly trying to figure out how we can get ourselves in position to make plays – both players and coaches. We just haven't been able to be consistent and do a good enough job with it."

Glennon started the last three games, completing 61 percent of his passes for 600 yards and three touchdowns. He completed 13 of 23 passes for 85 yards and no touchdowns Sunday, with Minshew entering the game following the eight-year veteran's lone interception of the game.

Minshew, a second-year veteran who has started 21 games for the Jaguars over the last two seasons, completed 18 of 31 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions Sunday. He has completed 65.1 percent of his passes for 2,033 yards and 14 touchdowns with five interceptions this season. He missed four games with a thumb issue and was a healthy backup to Glennon the last two weeks.

Rookie Jake Luton started Weeks 9-11, completing 54.5 percent of his passes for 624 yards and two touchdowns with six interceptions. Glennon replaced him in the lineup after Luton threw four interceptions in a Week 11 loss to Pittsburgh.

Marrone said he spoke to all three quarterbacks Monday.

"I told Mike to be ready and Jake to keep coming along," Marrone said. "There's pressure on all of us to go out there and win football games – and to win a game we're going to need a lot of people around us. That's how we're going to go into this game."

Marrone added, "I told these guys, 'Look, you guys have to be ready. If someone gets in there and is playing well, that's great. That means things are going well and we've got a chance to win a football game. If you go in there and you're struggling to a certain extent where you're not able to come back from it, we have to do something there.'

"But that's not the only position we talked about. What do we have to do to help ourselves? We don't have a lot of moves to make with the roster and where we are in the season. But at the same point, everyone has to feel that type of pressure.

"Am I looking to make a quick hook? Obviously not. I want someone to go in there and give us a chance to win – and get the guys around them to play better. We're just struggling as a team to find a way out of it."

Marrone mentioned Minshew's ability to extend plays as a factor in the decision.

"That comes into play, being able to make plays on his feet," Marrone said. "That's what we're looking for, someone that can do it. We haven't been doing a great job in anything. That's why we're sitting with our record the way it is."


Marrone said he expects center Brandon Linder to miss Sunday's game with an ankle injury that kept him out against Tennessee, adding that the team could make a roster move involving Linder. "He's trying like hell to get back," Marrone said of Linder, adding that he also expects veteran defensive tackle Abry Jones to remain on injured reserve the rest of the season with an ankle injury that has kept him out since Week 5. "He still can't really push off the ankle and it doesn't seem to be progressing the way we wanted it to," Marrone said of Jones. Marrone also said he expects starting strong-side linebacker Kamalei Correa to return Sunday from a hamstring injury that kept him out against the Titans. Marrone said guard Andrew Norwell and cornerback Chris Claybrooks, currently on injured reserve, are expected to return to practice this week.


Marrone on Monday also discussed wide receiver DJ Chark Jr., who caught two passes for 16 yards Sunday despite being targeted nine times. That continued a recent trend for Chark, a Pro Bowl selection last season who has 45 receptions for 591 yards and four touchdowns this season – but who has 27 receptions for 401 yards and one touchdown on 62 targets in his last seven games. "We've got to get him going," Marrone said. "He's a good football player. He's getting covered and we've got to look at ways to try to get him uncovered – and when he does win, to try to be able to get him the football. There's a lot going on. Obviously, we all want to play better and I'm sure DJ does."

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