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Doug Marrone says Sunday wasn’t a planned rest day for Blake Bortles

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NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars returned to the practice field on Monday for a joint practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We’ll have a full camp report later in the day, but something Doug Marrone said after practice seems to contradict what he told reporters after Sunday’s practice.

If you hadn’t heard, Blake Bortles threw two pick sixes in practice and would have had a third interception had defensive backs coach Perry Fewell not yelled to the defensive back to knock it down due to field position advantage. Shortly after, Bortles was pulled from practice and backup quarterback Chad Henne finished out his first team reps. This led to a lot of confusion wondering if Bortles was hurt or got benched, but after practice Marrone stated that it was a planned rest day and Bortles was on a “pitch count”.

Many local media pointed out that if it was a planned rest day, you’d think the team would communicate that prior to practice. They’d let players know Bortles is on a pitch count and they planned to pull him mid-way, because as everyone knows, the quarterback getting pulled suddenly mid-practice is a fun story during training camp. Marrone seemed to walk back those comments that it was planned after Monday’s practice, however.

So it was no longer a planned rest day due to pitch count, but Marrone felt like Bortles had a tired arm based on how he was playing and decided to pull him. Obviously, there is a pretty big difference in a planned rest day and noticing mid-practice the quarterback looks like he needs a rest, but I’m not ready to declare anything nefarious at this point.

Though again, it still seems really odd that after a walk through on Wednesday, playing minimally on Thursday, and off day on Friday and a regular practice on Saturday would result in arm fatigue not even mid-way through the practice on Sunday. By all accounts Bortles practiced the normal amount he would have on Monday with the Buccaneers, as well.

Personally, it gives me kind of an uneasy feeling about the whole situation. I obviously didn’t have much confidence in Blake Bortles to begin with, but this certainly doesn’t help the issue.