Breaking his collarbone in Week 1 can’t have been how Nick Foles envisioned his first season as a Jacksonville Jaguar would begin.
After signing a four-year contract worth $88 million in the offseason, Foles finally moved out from under the shadow of Carson Wentz in Philadelphia to a team where he could take the reins as the full-time starter.
Yet he found himself in a familiar situation for the first half of the season: watching from the sidelines as another quarterback enjoyed success on the field.
In this case, it was under-the-radar rookie Gardner Minshew, who exploded onto the scene when he replaced Foles, averaging over 250 yards passing without throwing a single interception in his first four starts.
It seemed entirely possible that Minshew could hold onto the starting job even after Foles recovered from injury, but, as is often the case with rookie quarterbacks, his completion percentage eventually slipped and turnovers became more frequent.
Last week, with the Jaguars on a bye, coach Doug Marrone announced that Foles would return as the starter for the team’s Week 11 game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
At a Wednesday news conference, Foles was asked how it felt to be sidelined for the first part of the season. His response, similarly to the time I crossed paths with him in a Phoenix-area restroom, revealed what kind of person he is.
“Right when I felt this thing breaking,” Foles said of his injury, “I was going into the locker room, I just realized, ‘God, this wasn’t exactly what I was thinking when I came to Jacksonville.’ … But at the end of the day, I said, ‘God, if this is the journey you want me to go on, I’m going to glorify you in every action, good or bad.'”
“I still could have joy in an injury,” he continued. “People hear that and say, ‘That’s crazy,’ but it’s like when you believe in Jesus and you go out there and you play, that changes your heart.”
"I don't believe in the prosperity Gospel. I believe if you read the word of God and you understand it, there's trials along the way but they equip your heart to be who you are." Nick FolesGreat message (really a sermon on the spot). Ask yourself, if you were asked to give a reason for the hope that you have (even during a trial) could you give a answer for your faith? Scripture commands that we are able to do so (see: 1 Peter 3:15-16).
Posted by Virgil Walker on Thursday, November 14, 2019
Foles went on to compare the injury to his 2018 Super Bowl win with the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Just like when I hoisted the Lombardi Trophy, the reason I’m smiling is my faith is in Christ,” he said. “In that moment, I realized I didn’t need that trophy to define who I was because I was already in Christ.”
Foles also discussed why the injury hasn’t stopped him from carrying out his purpose in life.
“My purpose isn’t football, it’s impacting people,” he said. “My ministry happens to be the locker room, and I’ve been able still to get to know people, get to know these guys through an injury.”
The 30-year-old quarterback was even able to point to some positives that resulted from the collarbone injury.
“[Not playing] is difficult from a fleshly perspective,” Foles said, “but from a spiritual perspective, for my heart, I’ve been able to grow as a human being to where I feel like I’m at a better situation here as a person than I was before because of the trial I just went under.”
Sunday’s matchup between the Jaguars (4-5) and the AFC South rival Colts (5-4) is a crucial one for two teams fighting to stay in playoff contention, but it’s clear that Nick Foles will be OK no matter what happens on the field.
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