What Is the Soonest Nick Foles Could Be Back on the Field for the Jaguars?

The Jacksonville Jaguars suffered a debilitating loss when their big free-agent signing, quarterback Nick Foles, went down with an injury early into the 2019 season. A few weeks later, however, and the team now has a better idea of when they can expect the 30-year-old to return. So how has the team performed without Foles and when is the soonest he’ll be back?

Nick Foles’ career achievements

Foles has had an odd career. He began as a backup in Philadelphia before winning the starting quarterback job. Then, the team traded him to the Rams, where Foles struggled.

After a year in Kansas City, he returned to Philadelphia as the backup for Carson Wentz. Two consecutive late-season injuries to Wentz saw Foles lead playoff runs in 2017 and 2018. While the 2018 run ended in a divisional-round defeat, Foles led the Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl over the New England Patriots in 2017. His career numbers are: 

  • Win-loss record of 26-19
  • 61.6 completion percentage 
  • 69 touchdowns 
  • 11,240 yards passing 

Foles’ magical postseason runs allowed him to sign a big deal in Jacksonville this offseason as their starting quarterback. 

How the Jaguars have fared without Nick Foles

When the Jaguars drafted Gardner Minshew out of Washington State University in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, they certainly didn’t believe he’d play a significant number of snaps this season. But they were wrong — and they’ve been pleasantly surprised. 

Known almost as much for his mustache as he is for his play, Minshew has been great for the Jaguars so far. In four appearances through week four, he has a record of 2-1 with seven touchdowns, 905 yards passing, and only one interception. Minshew also has a completion percentage of 69.4%. 

Due to Minshew’s play, the team quickly went from desperation over losing their free-agent acquisition to wondering whether they have the next Offensive Rookie of the Year under center. But how long does the team need to get by with Minshew at quarterback? 

When is the soonest Nick Foles could return for the Jaguars? 

NFL.com reports that Minshew Mania may have an expiration date and that Foles should be back this season if all goes according to plan: 

But at the least, the belief is that the former big free-agent pickup will be back under center as soon as the rules allow. [Foles] is out for at least eight weeks on injured reserve and eligible to return for the Week 11 game against the Colts, and sources say that is the target date for him to be back.

There are two interesting components of Foles’ comeback: 

  1. Will Minshew be able to keep the team afloat until Week 11? He’s played reliably so far, but defensive coordinators will have even more film of him by then. 
  2. What if Minshew continues to improve? Will a QB controversy occur in Jacksonville? As good as Foles looked in Philadelphia, there were still questions about how he would do as the No. 1 quarterback.

Will the Jaguars stick with the hot hand or go with the QB who’s done it in the postseason before? If Minshew keeps playing well and winning games, Week 11 may create some tough questions for the team.