The Jacksonville Jaguars announced this week that Nick Foles is healthy enough to play and will start for the team this Sunday when they face the Indianapolis Colts. The announcement means that Gardner Minshew, who played better than his 4-4 record as a starter indicates, will return to the bench, making way for the high priced free agent to return to the field as the Jaguars’ starting quarterback. It is right for Foles to get his starting job back, or should the team continue to ride Minshew unless and until he proves the league has caught up with him?
Sometimes in life timing is everything, case in point, Gardner Minshew, who, as a sixth-round draft pick out of Washington State, stepped in for Nick Foles during the first game of the season, and, as a starter posted a 4-4 record that could have been better if not let down by his defense. Now Minshew, who is coming off the worst game of his eight-game stretch as a starter, is being benched in favor of Nick Foles, who brings a Super Bowl ring as well as an $88-Million contract to the huddle.
Many people, myself included, predicted a good season for the Jacksonville Jaguars after they signed Foles, and with the team still in the mix for an AFC South title, putting their best players on the field, including at quarterback, is important. Foles is a proven winner in the National Football League, which is why he was signed as a free agent by the team, and he gives the team their best chance to win games over the second half of the season.
Do I feel bad for Gardner Minshew? Of course, but being a sixth-round pick and a backup at any position doesn’t carry the same level of respect as being a Super Bowl MVP does. Do I think Minshew is a better player than Foles because he can both run and pass? No, I don’t, and since the latter is sitting over the former, we will find out if I am right, and if Doug Marrone, Jacksonville’s head coach, made the right decision by benching Minshew. For now, it is up to Nick Foles to propel the Jaguars back into the playoff chase in the AFC South, or prove those who believe in Gardner Minshew, that benching him was a mistake.