The good news is Blake Bortles will start on Sunday when the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Houston Texans.
The bad news is he will be playing with a sprained shoulder.
While the second-year quarterback cannot further injure the throwing arm by playing this weekend, the news now serves as a bullseye on his chest, just begging JJ Watt and the Texans defense to target him in pass rush situations.
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The Jaguars gave away opportunities to win their last two ballgames. This is not the kind of news they need heading into an important AFC South matchup.
According to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, Bortles sustained a Grade 1 AC (acromioclavicular) joint sprain in Sunday’s 38-31 loss to Tampa Bay.
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The AC joint is located at the top of the shoulder between the end of the collar-bone and tip of the shoulder blade. When the injury actually occurred is not known.
The Jaguars have dealt with injuries to key players most of this season with Sen’Derrick Marks, Julius Thomas, Luke Joeckel, Johnathan Cyprien, Marqise Lee, Paul Posluszny and Brandon Linder all being injured and impacting this team.
Linder, the team’s best offensive lineman is out for the season. Lee cannot stay healthy and the remainder of the list of injured players are being brought back slowly. The possibility of Bortles being injured or further injured could be the most impactful of all who are on the list.
Right now, the prospect of No. 5 being behind center is “reasonable,” according to O’Halloran’s story and Orthopedic surgeon Brian Schulz.
If Bortles cannot go or cannot finish the game, Chad Henne will assume the reins of the offense. Jeff Tuel was signed to the practice squad on Tuesday.
There is an ideal scenario for Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles to protect his injured throwing shoulder: Don’t get hit.
“The more he can stay up-right and avoid contact, the more likely he can stay in the game,” said Schulz, via Jacksonville.com, who works at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles.
Bortles has shown major improvements in his performance this season.
While there are still issues with reading defenses and locking in on receivers, which have translated into costly interceptions, his mechanics are better and his throwing motion is more precise.
In five games, Bortles has thrown for 1,299 yards (8th in the NFL) and 10 touchdowns which ranks fifth overall.