Blake Bortles will make his first start for Jacksonville on Sunday since Nov. 25.

By Emily Caron
December 26, 2018

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said Blake Bortles will start under center for Jacksonville's regular-season finale in Houston, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Marrone made the announcement Wednesday afternoon, saying that Bortles' athletic ability was a reason for choosing the 26-year-old over Cody Kessler, who started the past four games for the Jaguars.

"We just feel like his mobility will give us a better chance against obviously a very tough team," Marrone said.

Sunday will mark Bortles' first start since Nov. 25, when the quarterback threw for 127 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions in the Jaguars' 24-21 loss at Buffalo. Bortles was benched for Kessler and Jacksonville's offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was fired the day. 

The Jaguars have gone 2–2 with Kessler as their starting quarterback. Bortles stepped in for Kessler late in the third quarter of Sunday's game against Miami, leading the Jaguars to a game-winning field goal against Miami.

Bortles said the most important thing for him on Sunday was to enjoy the game as their season comes to a conclusion.

"It feels good anytime to play football when they let you play," Bortles said. "I know for me at least I enjoy the hell out of getting to come to work every day and practice with these guys. This is our last week, our last opportunity to play a game together as this team. Nobody knows what's going to happen next year, so I think most importantly just enjoying this.

"It's obviously not the year, the season everybody expected or wish would have happened, but we get one more opportunity and we're going to make the best of it."

Jacksonville (5–10) will face the Texans on Sunday as Houston (10–5) attempts to clinch the AFC South with a win.

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