Is it Jake Luton time in Jacksonville? Yes.
Following an injury to Jaguars’ starting quarterback Gardner Minshew, the former Beaver is in line to get his first career start with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting Luton is “expected” to start this Sunday in Jacksonville’s Week 9 matchup against the Houston Texans.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone confirmed the reports following Monday’s practice.
Download and subscribe to the Talkin’ Beavers Podcast
“We might as well look,” Marrone said per Jaguars.com. “We might as well see what we have. Go ahead and play him, and let’s go.”
Luton will be the first Oregon State quarterback to start an NFL game since Matt Moore won 26-23 against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9 of the 2019 season when Patrick Mahomes was injured.
Last week, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Minshew will not be cleared to play in Week 9, meaning either Luton or fellow backup Mike Glennon would compete to get the start.
Remember, Luton was kept on the active roster during preseason roster cuts while the Jags cut Glennon, before bringing back the veteran.
“I think Jake has a high ceiling. That’s my opinion of him,” said Marrone. “Not to take anything away from Mike. I have a ton of respect for him. I just want to see where this kid (Luton) is at. … I’ve watched him enough. Now, it’s going to be when the bullets are flying.”
Minshew has struggled this season, and rumors swirled that he could be benched due to poor production.
That never happened, but when Minshew went down with a hand injury, it opened the door for Luton.
Back in September, Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden raved about his rookie quarterback.
“Jake’s been awesome, man,” said Gruden. “He’s, you know, got about everything you know people look for in a quarterback; he’s tall, throws an accurate ball, has a big arm. He’s actually, he’s really smart. He learned the offense very fast, and he really hadn’t needed much help there… I think [Jake has] been the biggest pleasant surprise, I would say — his ability to come in here, learn, he plays with great poise and confidence for a young player.”
The Jaguars took a low risk, high reward flyer on Luton when they used the 189th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft to select the Oregon State product.
According to Rapoport, both Luton and Glennon have impressed in practices, sometimes outperforming Minshew.
Now having seemingly won the job over the Week 8 bye, Luton will get his chance on Sunday and all of Beaver nation will be watching.