Jacksonville Jaguars will have Trevor Lawrence and Gardner Minshew battle for starting position
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer created buzz in the NFL media when he stated that there is an open QB competition in effect with Trevor Lawrence not 100% the starter yet. The #1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence and 2019 breakout starter Gardner Minshew will both get reps with first-team starters in their first NFL preseason game. They are already splitting first-team reps in training camp, so that isn't a major headline. It's a rare case that Trevor Lawrence isn't the regular-season starter, but there could be several reasons Urban Meyer has announced the open position for the starting QB.
Trevor Lawrence has been impressive so far in camp, but Urban Meyer still doesn't want to completely shut the door on Gardner Minshew. Minshew was a successful starter in 2019 before suffering a setback in 2020 paired with a thumb injury.
Urban Meyer's career with Jacksonville could hang on Trevor Lawrence's success in the league. Meyer was a genius head coach at the collegiate level and is smart to be thorough in selecting his regular-season QB. If Gardner Minshew happens to be riding a hot streak through the end of training camp, then it would make sense to ride the wave and see what happens. The first sign of distress from Minshew would have Lawrence as the permanent starter. Urban Meyer could also just be trying to pump up the value of Gardner Minshew for the trade market.
Trevor Lawrence has comments on the open QB battle:
"Yeah, it's competing, but also, at the end of the day, we're all on the same team. So I'm going to do everything I can to be the best guy for the job and to win games. But at the end of the day, that's not in my hands, the decision."
He doesn't seem worried about the situation, as he shouldn't be. Even if Gardner Minshew ends up starting Week 1, there's a slim chance he will last the entire season. Regardless of the end result, Gardner Minshew will remain a key player in the NFL, either as a strong backup and partner for Trevor Lawrence or as a starter elsewhere via a trade.