Nick Foles Named Jaguars Starting QB over Gardner Minshew II After Bye Week

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 5, 2019

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 08: Nick Foles #7 of the Jacksonville Jaguars warms up before the start of a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at TIAA Bank Field on September 08, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/11iStock/Getty Images

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles has been named the starter over rookie Gardner Minshew II for the team's Week 11 contest against the Indianapolis Colts, head coach Doug Marrone announced Tuesday.

Jacksonville has a bye in Week 10.

Minshew, a sixth-round pick out of Washington State, has started the past eight games after Foles suffered a broken clavicle in the season opener.

Foles has a 30-21 record in his career (including postseason), most notably going 10-3 with the Philadelphia Eagles in place of an injured Carson Wentz in 2017 and 2018 combined. He went 5-1 as the starter in 2017 while leading the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title.

His super-sub performance landed him a four-year, $88 million contract in Jacksonville.

Foles was injured in the first quarter of Week 1 and subsequently spent the first half of the season on injured reserve after undergoing surgery in early September.

Minshew, meanwhile, stepped in and did his best Foles impersonation. He won two of his first three starts as Minshewmania swept the country. Overall, the 23-year-old is 4-4 as a starter and has completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 2,285 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also has 235 rushing yards in nine games.

He was named Rookie of the Week six times in the first eight weeks.

Though he threw for 309 yards in his most recent outing, Minshew failed to lead the Jaguars to the end zone and threw two interceptions in a 26-3 loss to the Houston Texans in Week 9.

With Jacksonville sitting just one game back in the AFC playoff race, it will turn to its veteran who has no shortage of experience in making a late-season postseason push. 

It was not an easy decision for Marrone, but the fact Minshew has led the team to just two wins in its last five games likely played a factor. That and the fact Foles' contract includes a reported $50.125 million in guarantees.

Even if Foles fails to lead Jacksonville to the playoffs this season, the stretch run offers him an opportunity to show he is healthy and capable of being an NFL starting quarterback. That would allow the Jaguars to possibly explore his trade value in the offseason if they decide Minshew is the future.

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