The Jaguars have gone through what will likely go down as one of the most confusing, complicated, unlucky - and dreadful - seasons in franchise history.
On Sunday, Mike Glennon will be the team’s starting quarterback, meanwhile the team’s defensive coordinator will not be present due to COVID-19 protocols. Glennon will be the team’s third starting quarterback of the season, playing in place of rookie Jake Luton, who took over for starting quarterback Gardner Minshew II, who went down due to an injury to his right thumb a few weeks ago.
Glennon, now in his seventh season, has not started a regular season game since 2017, all the more reason for him to play freely, with nothing to lose.
“The thing to me is I have nothing to lose,” Glennon said on Wednesday.
“I mean I haven’t been the starter in three years. I don’t know when this opportunity’s going to come again. I’m just going to go out there, have fun, let it rip, and see what happens. We’re a 1-9 football team and I’m just going to do whatever I can to help us win. I’ve been through some good, I’ve been through some bad, and at this point in my career I just want to kind of go out and play like I have nothing to lose.”
The Jaguars are currently on a nine-game losing streak, the team, coaching staff and many players, have nothing to lose, either. In his career, Glennon has completed 488 out of 801 (60.9) of his passes for 5,163 yards, 36 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He’s played in 29 games, starting 22.
Becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL is tough, especially sticking as one of the 32 starters in the NFL for multiple games or years. At this point in his career, and having played for four teams now, this is an opportunity that doesn’t come often, and he’s not willing to let it go to waste, he says.
“I think it’s something that you never take for granted being one of the 32 guys that get to be a starting quarterback in the NFL,” he says. “I’m excited about the opportunity to go to battle with these guys and try to help us get a win. So, [it’s] something that you don’t take lightly because you never know when it’s going to come again. Like I said, I’m just going to kind of play with that attitude and hopefully that mindset helps us out.”
Against the Cleveland Browns this weekend, Glennon may be without his starting receiver in DJ Chark Jr. who has missed two days of practice this week with a rib injury. The odds are certainly stacked against him not only due to injuries, but also because of the lack of practice repetitions he’s had over the season, but his veteran experience is what he is banking on, able to have already been through the process.
“I’ve been in more offenses. I’ve seen more defenses,” Glennon said of his preparedness as a starting quarterback this year. “I think [I’m] just playing with a freer mind than I was when I was in Chicago. I just think that mentally could’ve bogged me down a little in the past and now I’m just, like I said, at a point in my career where I’m just going to cherish these moments.”
Certainly, his offensive coordinator, Jay Gruden, believes his experience is an advantage, and something the Jaguars haven’t had a quarterback thus far this season.
“He’s seen the game so hopefully that’ll give a little bit of the edge come on Sunday where he hasn’t had the reps, but he’s had time,” Gruden said on Wednesday.
“Jake [Luton] has just got here from training camp, we had no OTA’s. Gardner [Minshew II]’s only been in the league for a year and a half. Mike [Glennon]’s been in the league a lot longer, seen different concepts, seen different coverages and hopefully that will translate on Sunday.”
Time will tell whether or not Glennon will have what it takes to carry his team to victory for the first time since Week 1, but at this point, what does he or the team have to lose?