Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

After Henne Relief Effort, Who's the Starter? Big Game for Backup after Gabbert Leaves Early with Right Elbow Injury

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

After Henne Relief Effort, Who's the Starter? Big Game for Backup after Gabbert Leaves Early with Right Elbow Injury

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino

HOUSTON | Blaine Gabbert opened the door for Chad Henne for the third time in the last five games Sunday.

This time, Henne walked through it and played well enough to have a shot to start against Tennessee next Sunday.

Gabbert, who injured his non-throwing left shoulder in games against Oakland and Indianapolis, left the 43-37 overtime loss to the Texans in the first quarter with a right elbow injury after he was hit by Daniel Manning on a blitz.

Henne came in and made some big plays for the league's lowest-rated offense. He finished 16 of 33 for 354 yards and four touchdowns and a 126.8 passer rating. That was a higher rating that Houston's Matt Schaub, who threw for 527 yards and five touchdowns.

"He took command of the offense,'' coach Mike Mularkey said of Henne.

Henne was frustrated he didn't get the victory and failed to close the deal late in regulation and in overtime when the Jaguars had the ball with the game tied.

"Obviously it's exciting but if you don't win the game it kind of brings you down,'' Henne said. "We have the talent to win football games. It just hasn't rolled our way.''

Mularkey said he will evaluate the tape before deciding on his starter next week against Tennessee, and might want to keep the Titans guessing.

Of course, the decision could be made for Mularkey if Gabbert isn't able to play. Mularkey said he didn't know how serious Gabbert's injury is.

"When your arm gets hit like that and is in an awkward position, I tried to throw but it just wasn't happening,'' Gabbert said.

"It's something I'll have to manage and keep fighting through.''

Henne didn't get a single rep with the first team offense last week, but said he felt he'd been throwing the ball better working with the scout team.

"I was making those practices like they were games for me and trying to make tight throws in tight windows,'' he said.

"I just want to be consistent and if I play like I'm capable of playing, that's when I know I'm getting better.''

Henne said the Texans, the NFL's No. 2 defense, played a lot of man-to-man in the secondary.

"It all comes down to the guy winning one-on-one matchups and they [Jaguars receivers] made my job a lot easier. …

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