Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles blamed himself for his benching, as questions swirl about his future with the team.
Coach Doug Marrone announced Monday that Cody Kessler would start against the Colts on Sunday, and hold that role for the rest of the season. Bortles, selected No. 3 overall by the Jags in the 2014 draft, had made 72 consecutive starts. Yet despite posting numbers similar to what he had a year ago when Jacksonville finished 10-6, the Jaguars have struggled on offense and are 3-8.
The Jaguars also fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett on Monday.
Despite several key injuries to running back Leonard Fournette, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and along the offensive line, Bortles blamed himself for losing his starting role.
“I put myself in this position and I didn’t play good enough,” Bortles said (via ESPN). “Didn’t win football games. Couldn’t find a way to get it done. And when that happens, it’s a business and everybody understands that. I don’t think there’s anything personal involved. As a quarterback, I think you have one job and that’s to win a football game. And if you don’t do that, your time’s probably limited.”
Bortles signed a three-year, $54 million contract extension earlier this year that runs through 2020. The guaranteed payout is $26.5 million. When asked about his future in Jacksonville, the 26-year-old Bortles said he just wants to help Kessler and the Jags succeed, and he’ll “let the rest of it sort itself out when the season’s over.”
Bortles admits his future with the Jags is out of his hands.
“I’m not in charge of the decisions that are made,” Bortles said. “I obviously put myself in this position and forced their decision to be made. But at the end of the day, they’re in charge of making those personnel decisions and, if it’s a competition, or if it’s ‘see you later, you’re out of here,’ whatever it is, I love playing football and would love the opportunity to play again.”