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Surprise: Bortles Named Jaguars Week 1 Starter
As's Jeremy Bergman framed it: "The quarterback quagmire in Jacksonville took another surprising turn on Saturday morning. ..." Head coach Doug Marrone decided on his starting quarterback -- at the least for the season opener -- pegging Blake Bortles to start Week 1 against the Houston Texans on Sept. 10.

Bergman went on to note that Bortles being named the starter wouldn't be a surprise in years past, as he has started the last 45 games for the franchise. But Marrone's announcement bookends a week during which Marrone announced the QB position was up for grabs between Bortles and veteran backup Chad Henne, the latter of whom then started Jacksonville's third preseason game, often seen as the "dress rehearsal" for the regular season.'s Josh Alper explained that choosing Bortles gives the third overall pick of the 2014 draft another chance to show he can be the quarterback the Jaguars though he’d be at the time of that selection. With a $19 million option for 2018 that is guaranteed against injury, it also opens up the possibility that the Jaguars will have to keep Bortles at a high price even if he doesn’t progress as a player.

That risk didn’t outweigh the potential rewards they saw from playing Henne, at least not right out of the gate, and that leaves the Jags right back where they started this summer.

Remember, neither signal-caller was groundbreaking in Thursday's loss to the Panthers. In five first-half series, Henne went 8 of 14 for 73 yards. Bortles played seven series in the second half and went 12 of 16 for 125 yards and one touchdown.

After Thursday night's tilt, Marrone told reporters he wasn't ready to name either man the starting quarterback. That has since changed.

Despite the announcement, Bortles still appears to be on the shortest of leashes in Jacksonville. According to the team's announcement, Bortles has only been named the starter for the Jaguars' season opener and was not declaratively named the starting quarterback for the entire season.

In other words, expect this situation to play out on a week-to-week basis until Bortles proves he's back on track. Or not.

The impact on the supporting cast? Bortles willingness to throw the ball downfield isn't as much a plus as it would be if he were more accurate and made better decision. Henne is known as "Check-Down Chad" for a reason. The deep ball isn't a strength. In the end, the hope has to be that Bortles regains some of the momentum he started to build two seasons ago but expect the Jaguars to lean on rookie Leonard Fournette as heavily as the offensive line allows them to this season.