The rookie quarterback wasn't supposed to compete for a starting job in year one, but that could change with another impressive preseason performance on Thursday.
After the hearty six-game course last Thursday, this Thursday's NFL preseason slate is skimpy. Fortunately, that one game -- Jacksonville at Chicago -- has plenty of meat on its bones. Blake Bortles' burgeoning quest for a starting job, Marqise Lee trying to have an impact and the Bears' search for a No. 3 receiver should be enough to fill your appetite.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Chicago Bears
8 p.m. ET, ESPN
The Jaguars' plan coming into the preseason was simple: don't give Blake Bortles first-team reps until the fourth game and prepare him for being Chad Henne's backup in 2014. But the No. 3 overall pick flipped the script with his 7-of-11, 117-yard performance against Tampa Bay last week. That prompted Gus Bradley to publicly consider handing Bortles more snaps with the first team. Who knows, another strong performance could have Bradley mulling a Week 1 start.
Jacksonville's other star rookie, second-round wide receiver Marqise Lee, didn't get the same opportunity to impress last week. Despite playing extensively with the ones, he didn't get a single target. Look for Bradley to try to get Lee involved against Chicago.
The Bears will be scrutinizing their own wideouts. The Pro Bowl duo of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery give Jay Cutler arguably the best one-two punch in the league, but Marquess Wilson's broken collarbone has the team scrambling to find a No. 3 option. Wilson was being counted on to replace the reliable Earl Bennett, and while the injury isn't season-ending, it will no doubt cost him most of September. Several candidates had big games last week (there was plenty to go around as the team threw for 399 yards): Chris Williams had two grabs for 78 yards and a touchdown, journeyman Micheal Spurlock caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown, and Josh Bellamy had an impressive 41-yard catch.