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Jaguars rookie QB Jake Luton to start in place of injured QB Gardner Minshew

The Jaguars will be without its starting quarterback this week against the Houston Texans.

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

This weekend, reports surfaced that Jacksonville Jaguars starting quarterback Gardner Minshew II would miss time due to a previously undisclosed thumb injury.

Today, head coach Doug Marrone confirmed, not only the injury, but that Minshew would be inactive on Sunday against the Houston Texans and rookie sixth-round pick Jake Luton will be the team’s starting quarterback.

“So after we played the game (against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 7), they (team doctors) said, you know, ‘hey his (Minshew’s) thumb is sore’, or thumb is hurt, you know, so you don’t really think much of it,” Marrone said in a recall regarding Minshew and his thumb injury.

“And then the next day came in, and they said it was swollen, and then we’re going to get x rays, so that was Tuesday. And then, Tuesday night, we find out he has an injury to his right thumb. So, the plan is to try to get them back to 100%. And I see him being inactive this weekend.”

According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday, Minshew first experienced discomfort in his thumb following the team’s matchup against the Texans on Oct. 11. Today, Marrone said he did not know about the injury until Sunday, Oct. 25, when the team faced off against the Los Angeles Chargers.

It wasn’t until Tuesday, Oct. 27, when team doctors realized the full extent to Minshew’s injury after he came into the facility with a swollen thumb. Marrone indicated he is not yet sure when Minshew will be able to return.

It will be the first game in which Minshew is inactive in his short 23-game career dating back to Week 1 of 2019 when the rookie got first-hand regular season experience following an injury to then-starting quarterback Nick Foles.

While a starting quarterback has not yet been completely determined, Marrone did say that 2020 sixth-round selection, Jake Luton, will be receiving the the first-team repetitions this week in practice, setting the stage for the second year in a row a rookie quarterback will become the team’s starting following an injury at the position.

“We might as well look,” Marrone said. “We might as well see what we have. Go ahead and play him, and let’s go.”

Luton, a sixth-round quarterback out of Oregon State, has been a healthy scratch after making the team’s initial 53-man roster in late August. During his final season with the Beavers, Luton completed 222 out of 358 (62%) of his passes for 2,714 yards, 28 touchdowns and three interceptions.

“Both guys have to be ready; I’ve told both players they have to be ready,” Marrone said. “But I feel like I’ve seen a lot of Mike (Glennon); I haven’t seen a lot of Jake. I’m going to go with Jake taking the reps and see how he does.”

The team’s other option at quarterback is journey man, Mike Glennon, who is currently in his eighth year in the NFL after spending three years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a former second round draft selection, and one year a piece with the Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders, over the last three seasons, respectively.

In his career, Glennon has completed 488 out of 801 (60.9%) of his passes for 5,153 yards, 36 touchdowns and 20 interceptions while starting 29 games.

For now, it appears the Jaguars will be going to yet another rookie and former Pac-12 signal caller in Luton against the Texans this weekend.

“We’ll see how he plays against a live rush,” the team’s head coach said. “We know how he plays without a live rush. He’s done some good things. I’m sure there will be some things he wants to take back. You just hope the good plays are good and the bad things don’t kill you.

“I think Jake has a high ceiling. That’s my opinion of him. Not to take anything away from Mike. I have a ton of respect for him. I just want to see where this kid (Luton) is at. … I’ve watched him enough. Now, it’s going to be when the bullets are flying.”