Jacksonville Jaguars bench Mike Glennon for Gardner Minshew; starter to be determined

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Looks like Minshew Mania is back in Jacksonville. At least for a day, anyway.

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone benched starting quarterback Mike Glennon for Gardner Minshew midway through the third quarter of the Jaguars' 31-10 loss to Tennessee at TIAA Bank Field.

Minshew threw a touchdown pass on his first possession and finished with 178 yards passing. It will be at least a day until Minshew finds out if that performance was seen as good enough for him to regain the job he had for the first seven weeks of the season.

"As far as moving forward, I haven't spoken to both guys so just out of respect for them, obviously I have in my mind what I want to do but I'm actually going to make sure I speak to them first, before I do something through the media," Marrone said. "[Glennon] threw some good balls and we left some plays out there and he had some drops.

"I think it's not on one person. I mean, I think everyone can see that. There's a lot of things that we've got to keep working on and keep trying to improve upon. I don't think it's the one position right now that we can point to. I think we've just got to try to see whoever it is is whoever gives us the best chance to try to win a football game."

Based on Sunday, it's Minshew. The Jaguars had just five first downs and 99 yards of total offense in Glennon's seven drives, the last of which ended with an interception while trying to hit receiver DJ Chark deep in the middle of the field. The Jaguars had 15 first downs and 255 yards with Minshew, though the Titans were playing soft coverages with a 21-point lead.

"I don't know," Minshew said. "That's not my call. I'm going to try to help the team score points, try to help the team get better any way I can. Whatever they need me to do, I'll do, but obviously there's nothing like being out there being under center."

Minshew hasn't played since the Jaguars' 39-29 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Oct. 25. He told the team after the game that he had suffered a thumb injury in the Oct. 11 game against Houston, but hid the injury for two weeks.

Marrone started rookie Jake Luton for the next three games but a four-interception performance in the Jaguars' 27-3 loss to Pittsburgh spurred Marrone to make a change. Although Minshew had begun throwing again before the Steelers game, Marrone opted for Glennon in the Jaguars' Nov. 19 game against Cleveland.

Minshew told ESPN earlier this week that he had begged Marrone to play in that game.

Glennon has started the past three games and thrown three touchdown passes, three interceptions and lost a fumble before his benching against the Titans. The first two games were against Houston and Minnesota and the Jaguars lost those games by a combined five points.

Now it might be Minshew starting Sunday in Baltimore.

"It felt great to be back in there," Minshew said. "It's something that I really missed. I missed the camaraderie with the guys. I missed being out there. As much as you're always a part of the team it's just something different when you really are out there with the guys. It's always special.

"It's been different for sure. I'm just trying to help Mike in any way I could. Just help the team in any way I could through preparation, through practice, but there's always that itch and there's really nothing to scratch at that just getting out there and playing."

The Jaguars had decided to give Minshew the 2020 season to prove he could be the long-term starter, and while he threw 13 touchdown passes to five interceptions in the seven games in which he played, he hasn't significantly improved on the issues that plagued him as a rookie last season: comfort in the pocket, arm strength, finding open receivers and working the middle of the field.

He still isn't the long-term answer in Jacksonville. The Jaguars have lost 12 in a row -- one shy of the franchise record -- and are in a battle with the New York Jets for the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft. They're expected to take a quarterback with that pick.

But for 1½ quarters -- and maybe longer -- Minshew Mania was back.