Oregon State’s Jake Luton to make first NFL start Sunday

Sports

The former Beaver will make his NFL debut against the Texans, but could be fighting for the starting job long-term

Portland, Ore. (KOIN) – Jake Luton will be the starting quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 9 when they take on the Houston Texans.

Jags head coach Doug Marrone made the announcement Monday following news that starting quarterback Gardner Minshew’s thumb injury will cause him to miss Sunday’s game.

While veteran backup Mike Glennon had been in the back-up role, Marrone made the decision to go with Luton because, “it’s time to see what the kid can do.”

“I feel like I’ve seen a lot of Mike [Glennon],” Marrone told reporters Monday in a Zoom call. “I haven’t seen a lot of Jake so I’m going to go with Jake taking the reps this week and see how he does.”

Luton, taken by the Jags in the 6th round with the 189th overall pick, has had a difficult and winding path to the National Football League.

After transferring to Oregon State from Idaho, Luton played in only a handful of games as the Beavers starter before suffering a thoracic spine fracture. The back injury would’ve been adversity in and of itself, but Luton had the added challenge of competing for a starting spot in three different head coaches systems.

Still, Luton persevered. He won the starting job his redshirt senior season and helped lead the Beavers to one of their best seasons in years, throwing 28 touchdowns and finishing with a 149.8 QB rating.

The Jaguars drafted him in the 6th round, with the 189th overall pick. Luton went right to work in camp causing Marrone and general manager to make it clear Luton was the No. 2 guy, despite the presence of veteran Glennon.

“I think Jake has a high ceiling,” Marrone said Monday. “Not to take anything away from Mike, I got a ton of respect for him and I told Mike, ‘I just want to see where this kid’s at.’

While Marrone didn’t feel Luton was ready at the beginning of the season, Monday, he made it sound like how long Luton is the starter, could be up to what he makes of this opportunity.

“We’re at 1-6, we’ve got to see what this kid can do. If this kid comes in and plays extremely well, then what? Well, then you’re going to say, ‘well how come you’re going to bench him and play the other kid?'”

“Opportunities create themselves. If he does well then we’ll see where we’re going and make that decision when the time comes.”

The Jaguars kick off against the Texans at 10 a.m. Pacific Sunday on CBS.

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