JACKSONVILLE – Minshew Mania is back.
And this time, the idea is for it to be back permanently.
Gardner Minshew II, a rookie who went 4-4 record as a starter early this season playing for injured starter Nick Foles, on Monday was named the Jaguars’ starting quarterback. Head Coach Doug Marrone made the announcement on a Monday afternoon conference call.
“I handled the situation this morning,” Marrone said. “Gardner’s going to start for us versus the Chargers.”
The Jaguars (4-8) play host to the Los Angeles Chargers (4-8) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday at 4:05 p.m. Marrone specified Monday the plan is for Minshew to start the rest of the regular season.
“That’s what we’re doing going forward right now,” Marrone said. “We’re planning on him playing.”
Monday’s announcement came a day after Minshew replaced Foles at halftime of a 28-11 home loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Foles, who started Week 1 before missing eight games with a broken clavicle, was making his third start since returning to the starting lineup. He committed three turnovers on the Jaguars’ first three drives Sunday, completing seven of 14 passes for 93 yards and no touchdowns with an interception and two lost fumbles.
“Obviously, it was a tough deal with Nick coming back from injury and us not being able to do a good enough job around him, really,” Marrone said.
Marrone was asked Foles’ reaction to the decision.
“It’s brutal,” Marrone said. “It’s tough. He’s a competitor. He worked his ass off to come back and he’s a great pro. He’s going to do everything he can to help us win and at the same time, he has to be ready in case there is an injury or whatever it may be.”
Marrone added he considers Foles “a really good quarterback.”
“He obviously can win in this league, but we’ve got to have some help around him,” Marrone said of Foles, the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player with the Philadelphia Eagles following the 2017 season.
Minshew, a sixth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, completed 16 of 27 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown with an interception in the second half. The Jaguars cut a 25-0 halftime deficit to 25-11 with a chance to pull to within a touchdown before Minshew was intercepted by Buccaneers cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting on third-and-goal from the Buccaneers 2 with 6:06 remaining.
Marrone cited Minshew’s mobility and elusiveness as reasons for the change.
“The mobility’s going to help, obviously,” Marrone said.
The Jaguars allowed five sacks Sunday, with Foles being sacked three times – and losing two fumbles while sacked – and Minshew being sacked twice. Marrone said while the offensive line has struggled at times this season, “It’s really a lot of things.”
“You’ve got to get open, you’ve got to protect, we have tight ends protecting and we have running backs that will protect,” Marrone said. “We’ve got to be able to run the ball better. There are a lot of things that come into it, but yesterday we didn’t do a good enough job protecting.
“We got beat up front and it’s not the way we want to be playing.”