Gardner Minshew's Leash Just Got Shorter

Gardner Minshew benched.
Gardner Minshew benched. / James Gilbert/Getty Images

Two weeks ago I wrote about how Minshew Mania was on life support. Today gave the impression that things are even more dire than I imagined.

After another disappointing performance which led to another disappointing loss for the Jags this past Sunday, head coach Doug Marrone said the following to Michael DiRocco of ESPN about the possibility of benching Gardner Minshew:

"Maybe in the future, I think. I mean, I’d be naïve not to say [that’s a possibility]. That’s up for any position, any play that we can do for ourselves to get better. But no, I didn’t feel that way during the course of the game.”"

So Marrone did not consider benching Minshew in the Jags' Week 6 loss to the lowly Lions, but would in the future if he continues to struggle. Not exactly a vote of confidence, is it?

Minshew completed only 56.8 percent of his passes against the Lions, throwing for 243 yards with 1 touchdown, 1 interception, and 1 fumble. It was his fifth straight game with at least one turnover and the Jaguars have lost all three games. Their last three losses have come against teams with a combined 4-12 record.

Minshew has actually put up decent overall numbers this season, completing 67.5 percent of his passes for 1,682 yards with 11 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. But he's also fumbled 4 times and has 17 fumbles in 18 career starts. This year he has 8 total turnovers.

Journeyman veteran Mike Glennon is the Jaguars' backup quarterback. If the Jags went to him as the starter, it would officially end any idea that Minshew is their quarterback of the future. At 1-5, the Jags are in position to get another high draft pick and potentially select their quarterback of the future. If they pull Minshew, you can rest assured that's a signal their faith in him hasn't wavered. It's disappeared.

The pressure is on for Minshew to perform well the next two games against more bottom feeders. The Jaguars face the 1-4 Chargers this week and the 1-5 Texans after their bye week. If he lays two more duds against those teams and the Jaguars lose, it will mark five straight substandard opponents he's failed against. At that point, Marrone might follow his own word and pull the fan favorite, signaling the end of Minshew Mania as we know it.