Head coach Doug Marrone told reporters after the Jaguars' 12-8 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at EverBank Field on Thursday night that Bortles and Chad Henne will share first-team reps before making a decision for the Sept. 10 season opener against the Houston Texans.
"I'm looking for someone that's going to lead this offense," a frustrated Marrone said after the game. "I'm not happy with the performance today. I'm not going to sit here and B.S. anyone. Everyone saw it out there. Whatever you want to call it, I'm still trying to evaluate who the best person is at that position."
The 25-year-old Bortles, the third overall pick in 2014 and the Jaguars' starter since Week 4 of his rookie season, was ineffective in his four series in the first half against the Bucs, all of which ended in punts. He completed 8 of 13 passes for 65 yards and was sacked once. The Jaguars only crossed midfield one time while Bortles was in the game. He has completed 11 of 18 passes for 81 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in two preseason games.
"I'll approach it the same way," Bortles said after the game. "I'll approach tomorrow as I treated yesterday and as I treated today. I don't think anything changes from my mindset or anything there. I think it's my job to go out there and earn the respect and trust of those guys as well as the coaching staff, and that's what I'm kind of on a mission to do."
In his three NFL seasons, Bortles has thrown for 11,241 yards with 69 touchdowns and 51 interceptions in 46 games. The Jaguars picked up Bortles' fifth-year option for 2018 that is guaranteed for injury only.
Henne came into the game late in the first half to work with the first-team offense Thursday night. He threw two first-half passes, which were dropped in the end zone by Keelan Cole and Allen Robinson as the Jaguars trailed 12-0 at halftime.
Marrone told ESPN at halftime he was upset with the entire offense and not just Bortles. He sent the first team back on the field with Henne starting the third quarter. Henne finished the game 6 of 10 for 44 yards in two drives.
Henne, 32, has played only one regular-season snap since Week 3 of the 2014 season. He has made 53 career starts with the Miami Dolphins (2008-11) and Jaguars (2012-16), throwing 58 touchdowns and 63 interceptions.
"I always took it as I'm always competing and never really said I'm the backup, even though that's the way it was," Henne said. "I still study hard and try to prove in practice what I can do. All I can do is to try to get myself better prepared each week."
Jacksonville's third preseason is next Thursday night at home against the Carolina Panthers.