Jake Luton is close to making his NFL debut as a starting quarterback.
Jaguars coach Doug Marrone told reporters Monday the rookie will receive starter reps in practice ahead of Jacksonville's Week 9 meeting with Houston. Usual starter Gardner Minshew (thumb) will not play against the Texans.
Luton's journey to this point is pretty unlikely. As a promising junior college transfer into Oregon State, Luton's first season with the Beavers was cut short by a frightening thoracic spine fracture suffered in a game against Washington State that sent him to a Pullman-area hospital in 2017. He returned the next season and navigated multiple injuries, missing four games but combining to throw for over 4,300 yards and a 38-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his final two years at Oregon State. Perseverance and production helped Luton compile enough of a resume to get selected by the Jaguars in the sixth round of April's draft.
Jacksonville's choices to replace Minshew come down to Luton or veteran Mike Glennon. At 1-6, Jacksonville isn't exactly pushing the chips to the center of the table in an effort to make the playoffs, so why not give the rookie a shot?
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday both Glennon and Luton were told to be ready to compete for the starting gig in practice, with the loser serving as the backup while Minshew sits. The team had considered benching Minshew for Glennon because of a lack of consistency before discovering Minshew's thumb injury.
It'll be Luton who receives the chance to prove his worth at the pro level. He'll face the NFL's 30th-ranked defense in yards allowed per game. We'll see if he can take advantage of the opportunity.