Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles is in danger of losing his starting job, when a competition was once unthinkable.
Bortles is coming off a down season and has reportedly struggled at training camp. Still, nobody would have imagined Jaguars veteran Chad Henne would be competing to start in 2017, especially considering Bortles is only a little more than a year removed from a breakout season.
Yet, Jaguars coach Doug Marrone confirmed that is a distinct possibility, adding the 32-year-old Henne “deserves the opportunity, “according to Ryan O’Halloran for The Florida Times-Union.
“It’s right up there for grabs and either person can take it,” Marrone said. “It’s very simple: Who is the best person to put in that position?”
Chosen No. 3 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, Bortles threw for 4,428 yards with 35 touchdowns and 18 interception in 2015. However, the 25-year-old regressed last season, throwing for 3,905 yards with 23 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
What a quarterback controversy means for the Jaguars
Once a second-round pick from Michigan with the Miami Dolphins in 2008, Henne hasn’t started a game since Bortles won the job as a rookie three games in the 2014 campaign. The idea Henne might be “the best person to put in that position” is based more Bortles’ failings than the backup’s performance.
It’s just another sign of how far Bortles has fallen, a situation which has devolved into his own teammates ripping him at practice.
If Bortles does lose the job, it’s going to be a long season for a Jacksonville organization that will once again be looking at signal callers in the upcoming draft. Then again, if Bortles is under center come Week 1 and beyond, it might be an even longer year for the Jaguars still.