Blaine Gabbert to Start for Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Carolina Panthers

Justin UseltonContributor ISeptember 21, 2011

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 01:  Quarterback Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars attempts a pass during a game against the St. Louis Rams at EverBank Field on September 1, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

We've known all along that Luke McCown was a stopgap measure for the Jaguars this season, and that at some point, future franchise quarterback Blaine Gabbert would take over.

The future is now.

Jack Del Rio met with Gabbert and McCown Wednesday morning to inform them of his decision before revealing the decision to other players during a team meeting.

The story was first broken this morning by Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union.

Gabbert replaced the struggling McCown in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the Jets after McCown threw four interceptions and compiled a paltry 1.8 quarterback rating.

In limited action, Gabbert went 5-of-6 and nearly matched McCown's yardage total.

The move sets the stage for what promises to be an intriguing matchup, as the two of the first three quarterbacks selected in April's draft prepare to square off against one another.

Cam Newton, the Carolina Panthers quarterback who has thrown for more than 800 yards in his first two NFL starts, has looked much more comfortable as a pocket passer against Arizona and Green Bay than what most expected.

Gabbert will be aided in Carolina by the Jaguars' fifth-ranked defense, who has yet to give up 300 total yards to an opponent this season.