Earlier this week, the Jacksonville Jaguars , as they made the decision to bench Nick Foles for their Week 14 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers for rookie Gardner Minshew. The Washington State product went 4-4 while Foles was out nursing a broken collarbone, but now he’s ready to see if he can do enough to keep the starting job.
Minshew said that his two-and-a-half-game benching was “a really good experience,” according to Jaguars.com.
“A lot of times when you’re playing, you have a million different things you’re having to focus in on and you can lose some of the smaller stuff,” Minshew said. “When you’re out of that [starting] role, you can kind of step back and see the little details. Watching Nick was a great opportunity to learn.”
Minshew watched on as Foles lost to the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans before being throw back out on the field for the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the Jaguars had fallen into a 25-0 halftime hole.
It was a decision welcomed by the fan base, and those inside TIAA Bank Field made their voices heard on Sunday. Foles was booed, while the return of Minshew was applauded. The rookie immediately introduced a spark to the Jaguars’ offense and threw for 147 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the 28-11 loss.
“I love Gardner, and he brings energy,” wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. said. “So, when he’s out there, there’s no quit in him. There’s no quit in this team. Just seeing him out there, running around trying to make plays, you want to make plays for him. That’s the plan.”
Minshew simply just wants to win, and while the Jaguars have struggled to do that this season, head coach Doug Marrone is willing to forget about the four-year, $88 million deal they signed Foles to in March to see what they rookie’s got.
“I just want to win this game,” Minshew said. “Then we’ll kind of reassess at the end of this game and see what we need to do for next week. Right now, all we can do is worry about beating the Chargers.”
In 10 games, Minshew has completed 61.1 percent of his passes for 2,432 yards, 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. He gets a chance against an underrated Chargers team this week, and a secondary that has held passers to under 200 yards over the last two weeks.