The team’s plan is to split first-team reps between Henne and Bortles on Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers. But Henne getting the nod may mark the end of Bortles’ time as starter.
Henne, 32, didn’t earn the job as much as Bortles just lost it with a terrible showing in the beginning of August. In the team’s second preseason game — a matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Bortles continued his struggles and heard boos from the Jacksonville crowd as a result.
Putting Henne in is far from a comfortable solution for the Jaguars, though. In his five seasons in Jacksonville, he’s already proven multiple times that he is not a viable starter for the franchise.
His last time as a starter came in 2014, when the Jaguars intended for Bortles to sit as a rookie. But after an 0-3 start with Henne under center, the Jaguars turned to Bortles, who started the next 45 games for the team.
Henne’s poor 2014 season that got him benched is the only season of his career when he finished with more touchdowns (three) than interceptions (one). After 53 career starts and appearances in 65 games, Henne has 58 touchdowns, 63 interceptions and has completed 59.3 percent of his passes.
But that’s not to say that Bortles should be the one under center for the Jaguars either.
Bortles is wildly inaccurate on any passes thrown more than 10 yards downfield and has been among the league leaders in interceptions in each of his three NFL seasons.
The only other choice on the roster is 2016 sixth-round pick Brandon Allen, and that hardly seems like a real alternative either.
Jacksonville screwed itself by not adding any other passers in the offseason, but still have time to go after a free agent or make a trade to get a real upgrade at quarterback. If only there were a former Super Bowl starter waiting to be signed.
Until then, the Jaguars are going to pretend Henne isn’t a terrible option to be a Week 1 starter.