Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert’s fractured thumb is getting better, but it still remains a question as to whether or not he will be able to play in Sunday’s regular season opener at home against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Gabbert returned to practice this week for the first time since injuring the thumb on his throwing hand in the Jaguars second preseason game against the New York Jets, but the team is not ready to say for sure he will be under center on Sunday.
The Jaguars and Gabbert know that he will not be 100% healthy on Sunday, but the big question will be whether or not he can manage the pain and take snaps and throw the ball like he normally would. If Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is confident that Gabbert can play without much pain on Sunday, then he will likely get the nod. However, if Gabbert doesn’t think he can play the Jaguars will turn to backup Chad Henne.
The Jaguars are in no hurry to make a decision on their quarterback for Sunday. While privately the Jaguars probably have a good idea of who will be under center on Sunday, they are likely attempting some gamesmanship in advance of the game in order to force the Chiefs to prepare for both options.
As we saw in the preseason, there is a difference between the offense the Jaguars are going to run with Gabbert and the offense they will run with Henne. With Gabbert, the Jaguars were running a more up-tempo spread offense that got the ball out quickly. With Henne, the Jaguars were running a more traditional drop back passing offense.
No matter who plays, the Jaguars are going to need a big game from their quarterback on Sunday if they want to beat the Chiefs.
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