It appears that Cody Kessler will get his opportunity once again as a starting NFL quarterback.
The Bakersfield native will move into the Jacksonville Jaguars lineup after the team announced Monday that incumbent Blake Bortles was benched following the team's 24-21 loss to Buffalo on Sunday.
Jacksonville also fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett on Monday, after the team — one of the NFL's biggest disappointments in 2018 — fell to 3-8 on the year.
The offense has struggled throughout, in part because of injuries. Jacksonville is without three left tackles, two tight ends, the team's leading receiver from 2017, the team's starting center and played six games without offensive centerpiece Leonard Fournette. Adding to the woes, left guard Andrew Norwell was placed on injured reserve Monday with an injured left ankle.
In turn, the Jaguars rank 22nd in the NFL in total offense, averaging 346.5 yards a game, but have been on a steady decline the last two months. They rank 29th in points, averaging a paltry 17.9 a game.
Bortles has thrown for 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season, while averaging 233 passing yards per game. He has failed to throw for over 200 yards in six of his 11 games started this season.
Kessler, a Centennial High School graduate, has appeared in 13 career games.
He recorded eight starts for Cleveland after originally being selected in the third round (93rd overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. He has completed 160 of 248 career passes (63.8 pct.) for 1,662 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions for an 86.5 career passer rating.
"Hopefully he can stay healthy and win some games for us," Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone said.
Kessler was traded from Cleveland to Jacksonville this offseason for a 2019 conditional seventh round draft pick.
After earning All-America honors as a high school athlete at Centennial, Kessler started 41 games collegiately at USC, where he completed 851 of 1,261 attempts (67.5 percent) for 10,335 yards, 88 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. He held a 27-14 career record at the school and a 2-1 mark in bowl games.