Jacksonville Jaguars go with QB Mike Glennon, not Gardner Minshew

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Gardner Minshew era in Jacksonville is over -- for at least this week, anyway.

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone is going with Mike Glennon as his starting quarterback for Sunday's game against Minnesota despite the fact that Minshew has completely recovered from his thumb injury. Marrone said Glennon will keep the job as long as he plays well.

"We just feel like he gives us the best opportunity [to win]," Marrone said of Glennon, who completed 20 of 35 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns in the Jaguars' 27-25 loss to Cleveland on Sunday. "Thought he did some really good things last week and hopefully we can build on them and move forward.

"He's been there. He has experience. He showed that he can protect the football. He showed that he can make throws, take shots. Has some accuracy. I think that he's been practicing well and went in there and played well. Like I told him, I said, 'Hey we expect you to play better this week.'"

The Browns game was Glennon's first start since Week 4 of the 2017 season and his first game action since Nov. 24, 2019, when he was with Oakland and came in at the end of a 34-3 loss to the New York Jets.

The Jaguars went into the 2020 season with Minshew as the unquestioned starter to give the second-year player the chance to prove he could be the franchise's long-term starter. He helped the Jaguars upset Indianapolis in the season opener and had them in position to beat Tennessee in Nashville, where they've struggled to keep games close. But he hasn't significantly improved on the issues that plagued him as a rookie last season: comfort in the pocket, arm strength, throwing receivers open and working the middle of the field.

Minshew has 13 touchdown passes and five interceptions and was completing 65.9% of his passes before a thumb injury on his throwing hand put him on the bench. Minshew suffered the injury on Oct. 11 but hid it from the coaching staff for the next two games.

Marrone decided to start Jake Luton, the team's sixth-round pick, over Glennon for the Houston game Nov. 8, and the former Oregon State standout played solidly against the Texans, becoming the first Jaguars rookie QB to throw for 300 yards in his first start. Luton struggled a bit in the wind against Green Bay the next week, then played terribly against Pittsburgh on Nov. 22: 16-of-37 for 151 yards and four interceptions.

Marrone benched Luton for Glennon, but Marrone said he won't hesitate to go to Luton or Minshew if Glennon doesn't play well.

"Everything in this league is day-to-day, week-to-week, and I think especially when we're having the season that we're having right now and we're trying to get ourselves focused on Minnesota for a win," Marrone said. "I think it'd be naive of me [not] to say that every position has to play well from week to week and if we feel like someone else behind them can produce better or gives us a better chance to win, we'll go ahead and make that move. I don't want to put it just on the one position. It's really all positions."

Even if Minshew were to regain the starting job, he's clearly not the long-term answer in Jacksonville. The Jaguars are 1-10 and in a battle with the New York Jets (0-11) for the No. 1 pick in 2021 and Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. Regardless of which pick they end up with, the new GM -- Dave Caldwell was fired last weekend -- will almost certainly select a quarterback.