The Jaguars signed former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Landry Jones on Wednesday to fill the roster spot vacated by defensive end Dante Fowler, who was traded to the Los Angeles Rams before Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline.
Jones was signed as insurance because Blake Bortles has an injury to his non-throwing shoulder that occurred against the Philadelphia Eagles in London. However, Bortles is expected to start during Week 10 against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Jaguars are on their bye week and players are off until Monday.
The Jaguars (3-5) may have decided that more veteran help was needed at quarterback beyond backup Cody Kessler, especially since the way Bortles has struggled during the team’s four-game losing streak.
Jones, 29, was a fourth-round pick in the 2013 NFL daft by the Steelers and spent five seasons with the franchise before he was among the team’s final cuts in September.
Mainly a backup, Jones had five starts in place of Ben Roethlisberger and went 3-2. In 18 career games, Jones completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,310 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. In his last start last December against the Cleveland Browns, Jones completed 23 of 27 passes for 239 yards and one touchdown in the Steelers’ 28-24 victory.
The Jaguars recently brought in Jones for a workout to evaluate him.
During the Jaguars’ current skid, Bortles has thrown three touchdowns, five interceptions and lost three fumbles. He has yet to throw a touchdown pass in the first half during the past four games. The Jaguars were outscored 57-0 in the first half in three straight games before Josh Lambo made a 50-yard field goal in the first quarter against the Eagles.
Marrone benched Bortles in their 20-7 loss to the Houston Texans in Week 7 after his second fumble of the game and replaced him with Kessler. But for Week 8, Marrone said they were sticking with Bortles because he “gives them the best opportunity to win.” Against the Eagles, Bortles passed for 286 yards but led his team to only one touchdown drive on 41 pass attempts.
With the team’s decision to sign Jones, it won’t be known until Monday on how the quarterback rotation will be worked between Kessler and Jones. On Monday, Marrone vowed to evaluate everything, including himself, during the bye week to possibly get back on track for the second half of the season.
“There is a story out there about this team. It is an ugly story,” Marrone said. “But the story hasn’t ended. We can still control how this story reads. When we get away, we have to think long and hard about it. We have to come back and we have to figure out what the story is going to be on the 2018 team.”