Dolphins vs. Jaguars: Blaine Gabbert will start, Maurice Jones-Drew out

Al Messerschmidt

Jacksonville opens up its preseason on Friday, and the team made two big announcements about who will be starting and who will not be playing at all.

The Jaguars are one of several NFL teams that have not named a starting quarterback for the upcoming season, but SB Nation's Big Cat Country reports that Blaine Gabbert will start the preseason opener against the Dolphins on Friday. The other big news for Jacksonville's first exhibition game is that running back Maurice Jones-Drew will sit out as a precautionary measure as he gets into playing shape.

Gabbert is currently battling against veteran Chad Henne for the starting position. The two players got a similar number of pass attempts with the Jaguars last year, though neither QB was very successful. Gabbert made 10 starts and the team went 1-9 in those games, whereas Henne made six starts and the team went 1-5.

Part of the reason for those poor records could at least somewhat be attributed to the absence of franchise running back Jones-Drew.

After leading the league in rushing yards in 2011, Jones-Drew missed 10 games last year with a Lisfranc injury. He has recently reported that he is pain-free, but it appears that the team would like to keep him that way and save him from game action until he's a little more ready.

More from SB Nation:

Why is Jermichael Finley so mad?

Fantasy football: Running back rankings

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Complete NFL training camp coverage

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