Blake Bortles, Chad Henne Practice Snaps Reportedly 'Dead Even' for Jaguars

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2017

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne, right, passes the ball as quarterback Blake Bortles, left, looks on during an NFL football joint practice with the New England Patriots, Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

The starting quarterback job for the Jacksonville Jaguars is reportedly wide open. 

Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union cited a Jaguars player Sunday who called the practice snaps between Blake Bortles and Chad Henne "dead even."

This comes after Henne spent some time with the first team during Jacksonville's 12-8 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a preseason contest Thursday. 

Bortles went 8-of-13 for 65 yards in that contest and didn't spearhead a single scoring drive. A significant underthrow to a streaking Allen Robinson was emblematic of his issues as he failed to establish himself as the clear-cut starter.

Henne went 6-of-10, but multiple drops cost him potential scoring opportunities.

"It's right up there for grabs and either person can grab it," Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone previously said of the battle for the starting job, per's Michael DiRocco.

He also said he will "see how this thing goes" before he officially names one as the starter for the next preseason contest against the Carolina Panthers, per the Associated Press (via The Score).

ESPN Stats & Info illustrated just how poorly Bortles has played during the preseason:

The fact Bortles is battling for his position is a poor reflection on him considering he was the team's No. 3 overall pick in 2014 and is due to make more than $19 million in base salary next year, per Spotrac. He has 51 career interceptions through three seasons and 46 games and hasn't led the Jaguars into consistent postseason contention.

Adam Schein of SiriusXM didn't hold back when evaluating Bortles' play:

DiRocco even suggested the Jaguars could cut Bortles if they give the starting role to Henne so they can "eliminate the possibility of him getting hurt and being potentially on the hook for more than $19 million."

While much of the focus is on Henne and Bortles, Marrone said he would even consider Brandon Allen for the starting role, per First Coast News' Mike Kaye. Allen went 10-of-15 for 144 yards and a touchdown and demonstrated his elusiveness with 27 rushing yards on three carries against Tampa Bay.

However, O'Halloran called the chances of Allen starting the season opener against the Houston Texans on Sept. 10 "unlikely" and pointed to the task of facing a loaded defense featuring J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.