Blaine Gabbert still a question mark for Jaguars opener

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Blaine Gabbert, who did not play in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ last two preseason games after fracturing the thumb on his passing hand, could be ready to throw a football this weekend for the first time since his injury.

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said Friday that the team’s medical staff has already allowed Gabbert to start squeezing a ball as part of his rehabilitation from an injury which occurred Aug. 17 during the second quarter against the New York Jets. No determination has been given on Gabbert’s status going into the week before the Jaguars open the regular season at home against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I would have to see him and our offensive staff would have to see him play at really a high level,” Bradley said. “And he may have pain, but is it a pain that he can tolerate? If I see that, then I think that we would go with him.”

Gabbert, who is entering his third NFL season after being drafted 10th overall by the Jaguars in 2011, started the first two games and completed 18 of 26 passes for 184 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Chad Henne relieved him in both of those games and started the past two weeks, including the 20-16 win Thursday night at Atlanta that kept the Jaguars from finishing 0-4 for the first time in franchise history.

“When he’s ready, he’s ready,” Bradley said of Gabbert. “I don’t know if we want to go into a situation where he’s 60 percent. We feel good about Chad and the progress he’s made too. So we’ll just have to evaluate as it goes on and see where Blaine’s at.”

The Jaguars have three other quarterbacks on their current roster: Matt Scott, Mike Kafka and Ricky Stanzi, who was claimed off waivers from the Chiefs earlier in the week and did not play against the Falcons.

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