Jaguars quarterback Bortles questionable to play vs Titans
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has been knocked around all season, getting sacked 46 times in 12 games.
He's probably fortunate he made it this far without a significant injury.
Now, though, Bortles has a sprained right foot and is questionable to play Thursday night against Tennessee. Bortles was still wearing a walking boot Monday, a day after he was sacked eight times in a 20-12 loss at Baltimore.
Bortles expects to play against the Titans (2-12), saying ''a couple more days and hopefully it will be fine.''
''It feels OK,'' he said. ''Been in all morning doing rehab, doing all kinds of stuff, trying to get back and ready as quick as possible.''
But the Jaguars (2-12) said the rookie's availability will depend on how much better he feels over the next couple of days.
''Let's see where he's at and how quickly he recovers,'' Bradley said. ''I think it's how he progresses here.''
If Bortles can't go, Chad Henne would start. Henne started the first two games before giving way to Bortles, the third overall pick in May's NFL draft.
''They haven't told me anything,'' Henne said. ''I expect Blake to play, but I've still got to be ready.''
Bortles has completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,676 yards, with 10 touchdowns and an NFL-high 17 interceptions. He has been sacked 46 times. The seventh one Sunday, a 10-yard loss on a third-down play early in the fourth quarter, left him with a mid-foot sprain.
The Jaguars have given up 62 sacks in 14 games, one shy of the franchise record set in 2001. They have allowed at least four sacks in five consecutive games, including 19 over the last three weeks.
There's no one thing causing all the breakdowns. The offensive line, which is starting two rookies and a second-year player, has been at fault regularly. But running backs and tight ends have failed to pick up blitzes, and Bortles has held the ball too long at times, too.
''A lot of them are on me,'' Bortles said. ''Some are on the offensive line. It's on the whole offense. It's football, so you better be used to getting hit.''
Bradley indicated Monday that Bortles was causing a lot of the offense's self-inflicted issues, saying the biggest thing he needs to address in the offseason is speeding up his decision-making process.
Even Henne, who was sacked 13 times in the first two games, said Bortles needs to have more pocket awareness.
''In Blake's mindset, he's a playmaker,'' Henne said. ''He thinks he can make a lot of plays and get out of a lot of things. The NFL is different. You've got some studs up there. The defensive line, they get paid, too. It's not always easy, but if you can get a chance to avoid a 10-yard loss or a turnover and be able to throw the ball away, then that's the smart thing to do.''
With Bortles struggling, so has Jacksonville's offense. The unit has two touchdowns in the last four games. Bortles' numbers are down the last month, and he doesn't have any completions over 35 yards in the last four games.
''In college, you can run around and do more stuff, but in the NFL guys are a lot faster and stronger,'' Bortles said. ''So it's a little more difficult. You want to be able to get rid of the ball and live another down, not lose 5, 10 yards on third down and create longer field-goal situation. Those are definitely things I'm working on.''
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