“What would you do for more football? Because I’d do damn near anything.”
Gardner Minshew once chugged whiskey and took a hammer to his hand in an attempt to keep his football eligibility going for one more year. He said it. This isn’t some wild speculation. He told the story in great detail a little more than a year ago. We read it and laughed.
“That’s our wacky quarterback,” we said to ourselves.
But it seems as though Gardner really would do damn near anything to play more football.
Last week, we found out that Gardner had been playing for at least two weeks with a fractured throwing hand. He’s had discomfort since October 11th when we played the Houston Texans — and God knows if it wasn’t before then. He went on to play two more games and was then found out over the bye week, leading to Jake Luton getting the start this week.
When asked about it yesterday, head coach Doug Marrone said he understood why his young quarterback would hide the injury but said it’s important for him to disclose things like this to the team.
I’ll take it a step further — it was very, very, very stupid of Gardner to try and keep a broken throwing hand secret.
It may seem like Gardner is just gritting it out, right? He wants to be out there for the team and he wants to help his team win. But that’s not what team-first guys do. No, team-first guys are honest with their team. They don’t try and hide things as serious as a fractured throwing hand. And they don’t think they’re know-it-all players who are the only thing standing between their team and losing.
Because the simple fact is, you went out there when you knew you weren’t close to 100 percent. And even if Jake Luton isn’t that good, I guarantee there are some players in that locker room who don’t find it cute or funny or endearing — they see it as a guy costing them wins.
I’m all for this Jaguars team tanking. You’re 1-6. Develop the few good players you have and get as high a draft pick as you can to try your luck at a potential franchise quarterback. But not when it involves stunts like what we saw out of Gardner.
Because playing through an injury (especially an injury to your throwing hand) isn’t brave or inspiring or gritty.
It’s dumb as hell.
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