In a move that should be a surprise to nobody, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey announced on Monday that backup quarterback Chad Henne would start on Sunday when they host the Tennessee Titans.
Henne, who threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns in relief of the injured Blaine Gabbert in Sunday’s overtime loss to the Houston Texans, has experience as a starting quarterback with the Miami Dolphins.
The biggest shock of the announcement is Mularkey’s insistence that the switch from Gabbert to Henne was due to performance and had nothing to do with the arm injury that forced Gabbert to leave Sunday’s game in the first quarter. Gabbert’s status for the Titans game remains questionable, but Henne would have started anyways.
This announcement also is major in the fact that it seems that Mularkey and general manager Gene Smith are admitting failure with their attempts to make Gabbert a franchise quarterback and see Henne as a last ditch effort to win some games this year and save their jobs.
The switch the Henne may also be the final nail in the coffin for Gabbert’s run at quarterback with the Jaguars. Despite being a top-10 selection in the NFL Draft last year, Gabbert never really flashed any sort of consistent glimpse that would lead the Jaguars front office to believe he could be a successful long-term answer at the quarterback position.
If Gabbert is not healthy enough to suit up on Sunday, the Jaguars will likely activate quarterback John Parker Wilson from the practice squad to serve as Henne’s backup.