Jaguars not ready to make starting QB decision between Blake Bortles, Chad Henne


Staff and wire report
Published 12:30 a.m. ET Aug. 25, 2017 | Updated 12:32 a.m. ET Aug. 25, 2017

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Doug Marrone isn’t ready to pick a winner in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ quarterback competition.

After Chad Henne started and Blake Bortles followed by working with the first-team offense, neither passer gained enough separation from the other Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers for the Jaguars coach to make his pick.

Marrone said he wanted to review the game film and did not rule out the possibility of both quarterbacks playing in next Thursday’s preseason finale.

“I’ve got to do the best job for the organization and best job for the team,” Marrone said. “I’m not going to put that pressure on myself to say, ‘Hey, listen, I need to do this.’ I’ve got time. You’d like to make the decision quickly, but you want to make sure you make the right decision. That’s the most important thing.”

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Henne had an up-and-down night that would have been much better if not for a drop. Hecompleted 8 of 14 passes for 73 yards and lofted two perfect deep balls to rookie Keelan Cole and Allen Robinson, although Cole dropped a would-be touchdown for the second time in as many games.

Henne also was sacked three times and had a pass batted down at the line of scrimmage. He led the Jaguars on two scoring drives in five possessions, the first one aided by a 51-yard run on a fake punt.

Bortles was 12-of-16 passing for 125 yards, highlighted by a 4-yard touchdown pass to Shane Wynn in the fourth quarter. Bortles also threw an interception that was returned 48 yards and set up a touchdown in the third. The ill-advised pass was a little behind Allen Hurns and into double coverage.

Bortles and Jacksonville’s starting offensive line played deep into the fourth quarter, facing mostly second- and third-teamers.

It came a week after Marrone essentially benched Bortles following a rough preseason outing.

“I don’t know if it can get any worse than that,” Bortles said. “As a quarterback in the NFL, it’s probably the last thing you ever want to hear. You can roll over and lay down or you can just keep working and grinding and earn that spot. So you have two options. You pick one and you go.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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