Jaguars bench Blake Bortles for Cody Kessler after third straight disastrous game

Blake Bortles fumbled twice against the Texans before he was pulled.

The Jacksonville Jaguars benched Blake Bortles in a Week 7 game after his second fumble of the game set up the Houston Texans for an easy touchdown to take a 20-0 lead. Taking over for the Jaguars early in the third quarter was former Cleveland Browns quarterback Cody Kessler.

Bortles completed just six of 12 passes for 61 yards against the Texans before he was benched and the Jaguars offense was shut out in the first half for a third consecutive week. He threw four interceptions in a 30-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5 and only managed to throw for 149 yards in a 40-7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6.

The benching comes just hours after ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that the Jaguars aren’t interested in trading for a quarterback to challenge Bortles:

The Jaguars believe that the quarterback position is the least of their issues. More disconcerting to them is the fact that they have been one of the most injured teams in the league. Key offensive players such as running backs Leonard Fournette and Corey Grant, wide receiver Marqise Lee, tight ends Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Niles Paul, and offensive tackles Cam Robinson and Josh Wells all have missed significant time to injury or are out for the season.

Bortles was again dealing with the struggles of his supporting cast against the Texans. Keelan Cole had two early drops and the offensive line didn’t keep Bortles clean. But he wasn’t doing the Jaguars offense any favors either and his pair of fumbles were costly.

Kessler saw limited in action in 2017, but started eight games during his rookie year with the Browns in 2016. He finished that season with six touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 92.3 passer rating.