Benched Blake Bortles gets job back, will reportedly be on short leash vs. Eagles in Week 8
Less than 24 hours after getting benched, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles is getting his job back.
Jags coach Doug Marrone announced on Monday that Bortles will be the team’s starter this week when Jacksonville travels to London for a game against the Eagles.
“I spoke to both quarterbacks this afternoon and told them that Blake will be our team’s starting quarterback,” Marrone said in a statement. “I believe this gives us the best opportunity to win.”
Apparently, Marrone is completely convinced that Bortles gives his team the best chance to win and that’s because we could see another benching this week. According to ESPN.com, not only will Bortles will be on a short lease this week, but Cody Kessler will also be getting some first-team reps during practice.
Bortles was benched during the third quarter of Jacksonville’s 20-7 loss to Houston on Sunday. Marrone decided to hand the quarterback job over to Cody Kessler after watching Bortles crash-and-burn against the Texans defense. In the six possessions where Bortles was on the field for Jacksonville, the Jaguars punted four times and Bortles lost two fumbles.
After Bortles lost his second fumble of the game, which came in the third quarter, Marrone sent him to the bench.
“I literally did it to try to get a damn spark from this football team, to put everyone on notice they have to focus and they have to play better,” Marrone said following the game. “That’s not fair to the quarterback, but that’s the way this business is.”
Despite the benching, Bortles said he would be ready to play if called upon for this week’s game against the Eagles.
“You keep your head down and keep working,” Bortles said. “That’s all I’ve ever done my whole life. It’s all I really know how to do. I think it’s the only thing you can do in this situation. Show up with a positive attitude and get ready to play next week. Whether I play or not is not up to me, so I’ll be ready to go.”
It’s a good thing that Marrone is giving the job back to Bortles, because if there’s one time when he really shines, it’s when the Jags play in London. As Ryan Wilson noted on Monday morning, Bortles has been nearly unstoppable in London over the past few years. Since 2015, Bortles has started three games in England and the Jags have gone undefeated. During those three games, Bortles has combined to throw eight touchdown passes compared to just one interception. That 8-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio is especially impressive when you consider that his ratio in non-London games is 1.3-to-1.
If Bortles takes over London again, there’s a good chance he won’t have to be worried about being benched for the second time in two weeks.
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