Blaine Gabbert’s season came to an abrupt end, two days after his tenure as a starting QB did the same.
The Jacksonville Jaguars placed Gabbert on injured reserve due to a significant forearm injury. Gabbert might have been able to return this season, but since he requires surgery to repair a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, the Jaguars (1-9) figured it was best to get the procedure done and get his recovery started.
”The earlier we can take care of him, the earlier we are going to get him back,” Coach Mike Mularkey asserted. ”That had a lot to do with why we did what we did.” Sports scores
Even before Mularkey knew the seriousness of Gabbert’s injury, he named Chad Henne the starter for Sunday’s game against Titans (4-6). The coach made it clear that his call was based on Henne’s performance and not Gabbert’s injury.
That was somewhat of a shock, but Mularkey dropped an even bigger one when he revealed Henne could secure the starting job going into next season by playing well over the last 6 games.
So the Jacksonville Jaguars appear ready to move on from Gabbert, a first-round draft pick who did not show much progress in 24 starts. He has completed 53.7% of his passes for 3,876 yards, with 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He has been sacked 62 times while winning just 5 starts.
”You can’t worry about that,” Gabbert recounted. ”There’s usually likely to be competition on any football team at any position in any given season. It’s my job to come back and work my tail off like I will be able to and like I have and get my job back. I’m a competitive person. I am probably one of the more of the competitive guys out there.
”I want to see others succeed, but at the same time, personally, you have to want to succeed yourself. And that’s why you have to that competitive drive to come in here and now just take that drive toward rehabilitation and getting back healthy.”
Henne plans on capitalizing on the opportunity.
He was basically run out of Miami after 4 up-and-down, injury-filled seasons. A 2nd-round pick in 2008, Henne finished 60.7 percent of his passes with the Dolphins for 7,114 yards, with 31 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. Henne went 13-18 as a starter.
He got a 2nd chance when the Jaguars signed him to a 2 year, $6.75 million deal in March to be Gabbert’s backup and possibly compete for the starting position.
But Henne never really challenged Gabbert. Maybe he was rusty from sitting out 12 games last season as a result of a shoulder injury. Or maybe he struggled to get comfortable in Mularkey’s offense.
Either way, he looked significantly better in relief of Gabbert in the last few weeks. Henne finished 10 of 16 passes for 121 yards, with a touchdown and an interception, against Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 8. He was even better last week at Houston, throwing for 354 yards and 4 scores.
”He just came out and made a lot of things happen, and that’s what we’re looking for,” Mularkey claimed. ”Just to try and find the production that’s going to help us win the game.”