Jags teammates believe the rookies' ability to make plays when needed while fighting through pain shows why he's going to be special down the road.
"You're only going to see him continue to get better and better and better."
Getting sacked four times Thursday -- to make it an NFL-leading 50 on the season -- didn't help matters.
"We've known this whole time he's a tough guy," left tackle Luke Joeckel said. "We watch him play. He's a hard-nosed guy. He takes some hits and he pops right back up. We knew going in this game he was a little bit limited, but he didn't show it at all and he made plays."
Bortles has gone through tough stretches that often displayed why the Jags' brass originally wanted to keep him out this year. However, in his moments of brilliance he's displayed a higher ceiling than any other rookie signal-caller in 2014. A gritty performance like Thursday's will only ingratiate Bortles toward teammates as he attempts to lead Jacksonville out of the NFL cellar.