Jacksonville Jaguars QB Jake Luton to start again for injured Gardner Minshew

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Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said after his team’s loss to Houston that he didn’t need to decide which quarterback to start against Green Bay this week because Gardner Minshew still isn’t able to throw because of his thumb injury.

He reiterated that on Monday afternoon: Rookie Jake Luton will make his second start when the Jaguars play at the Packers.

Luton threw for 304 yards and one touchdown with one interception and ran for another touchdown in the Jaguars’ 27-25 loss to the Texans at TIAA Bank Field. He became the first rookie quarterback in franchise history to throw for 300 yards in his first NFL start.

Marrone said he liked a lot of what he saw from Luton, especially the way he kept his eyes downfield when trying to scramble and his willingness to take those downfield shots. He hit DJ Chark on a 73-yarder for a TD on his second career pass and narrowly missed another deep throw to Keelan Cole.1

“So, when under duress, you see him still working to push the football down the field. And then, at the end of the game, you saw him have the ability to take off and go,” Marrone said. “So, I think those things go to one of the things that you look for, checking the boxes. I thought communication-wise, just his getting in and out, not getting delays of game — a lot of that stuff happens early in someone’s career, you could have those situations. So, being able to spit the plays out, get everybody lined up. And then really, the two two-minute drives, especially the one at the end, he’s a guy that has zero work. We tried to get in some extra work with him on two-minute at the end of the day and I thought he really handled himself well throughout the four quarters.”

Minshew originally hurt his right thumb on Oct. 11 but hid the injury from the team until after the loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Oct. 25. He completed a season-low 51.9% of his passes (14 for 27) for 173 yards and two touchdowns and the offense started the game with four consecutive three-and-outs.

Minshew has completed 65.9 % of his passes for 1,855 yards and 13 touchdowns with five interceptions this season.

In announcing that Luton would start against the Texans, Marrone said that there was no guarantee that Minshew would regain his starting job once his thumb injury healed.

Also on Monday, the Jaguars said they were putting kicker Josh Lambo on injured reserve. Lambo suffered a hip injury on an onside kick at the end of Sunday’s loss. He was placed on IR for the same injury after getting hurt in Week 2 and was activated on Oct. 23.

Lambo tied a franchise record with a 59-yard field goal against the Texans. He also missed a PAT, which forced the Jaguars to go for a two-point conversion to try to tie the score and force overtime with 1:30 remaining. Luton’s pass failed.