Gardner Minshew II Activated from Reserve/COVID-19 List by Jaguars

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2020

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II (15) throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

The Jacksonville Jaguars announced Tuesday they've activated quarterback Gardner Minshew II from the NFL's Reserve/COVID-19 list.

Minshew later confirmed to reporters, per James Palmer of NFL Network, that he did not test positive for the coronavirus, noting the virus "took one look at me and ran the other way."

Minshew joined safety Andrew Wingard (COVID list) and cornerback D.J. Hayden (PUP list) in returning to the Jags' active roster amid the opening stages of training camp.

Jacksonville traded veteran Nick Foles to the Chicago Bears in March, which set the stage for Minshew to open the 2020 season as the team's unquestioned starter.

The 24-year-old Washington State product was one of last year's breakout rookies after getting selected in the sixth round of the 2019 draft. He was the 10th quarterback off the board but quickly stepped into the Jaguars lineup after Foles suffered a broken clavicle in Week 1.

He put together an impressive debut campaign, completing 60.6 percent of his throws for 3,271 yards, with 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions across 14 appearances. He added 344 rushing yards.

In May, Minshew explained he was eager to keep proving people wrong, not only about himself but also the team, which owns a league-worst 250-1 odds to win the Super Bowl, per Caesars Palace.

"I think it should put a chip on everybody's shoulder on our team to be kind of counted out like that," he told reporters. "I think we do have a lot to prove that we're not what anybody says about us. I think we're going to set those expectations for ourselves and not worry about what anybody else has to say about us."

He'll throw to an unheralded but deep group of receivers. The quartet of DJ Chark Jr., Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley and Keelan Cole will be joined by second-round pick Laviska Shenault Jr.

Add in running backs Leonard Fournette and Chris Thompson and tight end Tyler Eifert, and the Jags offense has the pieces to significantly improve after finishing 26th in scoring last year.

That's heavily dependent on the continued development and health of Minshew since the team doesn't have a proven backup. Mike Glennon, Joshua Dobbs and rookie Jake Luton will compete for that job during camp.

Minshew proving his rookie season wasn't a fluke by pushing toward 30 total touchdowns would put Jacksonville in position to seriously compete for an AFC playoff berth.