The Jacksonville Jaguars new quarterback controversy is over before it really got a chance to get going.
The Jaguars announced on Wednesday that they were placing injured quarterback Blaine Gabbert on injured reserve to have surgery on the torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder that he sustained in a week seven loss to the Oakland Raiders. Gabbert was going to initially wait until after the season to have the surgery, but following the performance of backup Chad Henne on Sunday against the Houston Texans, the Jaguars coaching staff was ready to make the switch regardless of Gabbert’s injuries.
This turn of events brings up big questions as to what kind of future Gabbert has as the Jaguars starting quarterback. In his one and a half seasons with the Jaguars, Gabbert never really flashed the kind of talent that led the team to trade up into the top ten to select him in last year’s NFL Draft.
Despite the injury, the Jaguars still have Gabbert under contract for two more years and the quality of quarterbacks in the upcoming draft are not really worth the high first round pick the Jags will likely have following their disappointing 2012 season. So even if the Jaguars clean house this offseason, a healthy Gabbert will likely have a shot at the starting quarterback job in 2013.
In the meantime, Henne has another shot to prove himself as a starting caliber quarterback with the Jaguars. Many people nationally believed Henne would eventually beat out Gabbert for the Jaguars quarterback job, but after an awful preseason he became an afterthought until Gabbert’s injury.
The Jaguars signed quarterback Jordan Palmer on Wednesday to backup Henne for the remainder of the season. Palmer was the Jaguars third-string quarterback throughout the preseason, but was cut when the team decided to carry only two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster.