The legend of Gardner Minshew grows.
Jacksonville’s folk hero quarterback might have won a lot of Jaguars fans over Thursday night after notching his first career NFL victory against the Tennessee Titans, but he’s been winning over the internet for two weeks.
Since he was thrust into action after Nick Foles broke his collarbone in Week 1, we’ve learned the Uncle Rico doppelganger has an incredible moustache, is named Gardner Minshew II — not a Jr. at his father Flint’s behest — and he stretches in the locker room before and after games wearing nothing but a jock strap.
In an interview on the Barstool Sports podcast “Pardon My Take” that aired Friday, he offered yet another incredible piece of information for the world to digest: While he was at East Carolina University, he intentionally tried to break his own hand with a hammer — in order to gain another year of college eligibility.
Minshew transferred to ECU from junior college, meaning he would only have three years of eligibility at the D-I level. But he had two senior quarterbacks ahead of him on the depth chart, so he planned on redshirting his first year, a designation that would only hold up if he didn’t play.
Then the school moved one of the quarterbacks to running back, and early on in the season, the other was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Minshew was forced into action for a half, making the redshirt no longer an option.
Even worse, the starter came back the next week, and Minshew couldn’t even play out the season.
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“So I’m like, ‘Dang, man, I just played a half and really wasted a year on playing a half of ball,’” Minshew said. “I was pretty pissed, so I started looking around at what I could do and what my options were. The only thing I could do was to get a medical redshirt. But if I played in this next game, then that would be off the table.
“So I get an idea. I go home, I grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels, and a hammer. And I go back in my room, I take a pull of Jack Daniels and put my hand down on the table and ‘Boom, boom, boom, one-two-three,’ and hit the hell out of my hand.”
It did not go as planned.
“I’m sitting there shaking, but I know it’s not broken, and I did it again. Still nothing at this point and knew it wasn’t broken. So another time, another pull, another three hits and that was all I could take. I couldn’t break my own hand.”
He ended up with a bruise on his throwing hand, which he would have to play through. Of course, he couldn’t tell his team what happened, so he made up a story.
“I told the coaches I closed it in a car door,” Minshew said.
Through three games, Minshew is backing up his growing off-field legend with his play. According to NFL Research, he has the highest completion percentage (73.8) and passer rating (110.6) of any rookie quarterback in NFL history through their first three games.
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