by Cole Pepper
August 19, 2013
Blaine Gabbert is the Jaguars starting quarterback. He just won’t play for a while.
Head coach Gus Bradley named Gabbert as the starting quarterback today, but said that Gabbert has a hairline fracture in his right thumb. The injury occurred in the first half of Saturday night’s game preseason game against the Jets. Initially, an X-Ray did not reveal a break, but a later MRI showed the fracture.
Gabbert will be out the rest of the preseason, but Bradley expects him to return in time for the week of preparation before the Jaguars season opener against Kansas City.
After Gabbert’s performance against the Jets (13 of 16, 165 yards and a touchdown), it was clear that he had taken command of the quarterback competition with Chad Henne. It was only a matter of time (and health) before Gabbert was named the starter.
“It’s a nice opportunity but it doesn’t end here,” Gabbert said. “Gus preaches competition.”
Bradley complimented Gabbert’s improvement in leadership, practice performance and command of the offense in addition to his ability throwing the football.
“He can stretch the field with his talents, vertically and horizontally,” Bradley said. “He’s taken ownership of the offense.”
Henne figures to play quite a bit this Saturday when the Jaguars host the Eagles in the third preseason game.
“I would think that Chad would get a lot of reps,” Bradley said, although the staff has not yet met to discuss the number of plays. He did expect the starters to play into the third quarter.
For now, Gabbert is wearing a hard splint on the injured hand.