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Will Colts fans see ‘Minshew Mania’ again in Jacksonville?

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - OCTOBER 08: Gardner Minshew #10 of the Indianapolis Colts looks to pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 08, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew made a name for himself back in 2019 when he was a rookie for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Minshew, who was the Jaguars’ backup, had to step in for an injured Nick Foles. He would end up playing in 14 games for the Jaguars that year, finding success at various points throughout the season. That success helped create “Minshew Mania” in Jacksonville.

He finished his 2019 rookie campaign throwing for 3,271 yards, along with 21 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.

“It was a dream,” Minshew said. “It’s everything you wanted as a kid and then some. Man, it was a whirlwind. It feels like forever ago now, but an experience I’m so grateful for. I’m really grateful for my time in Jacksonville, those fans, that community.”

Fast forward to this weekend, when Minshew will be back in Jacksonville as a starting quarterback, only this time, he’s playing against the team that picked him in the 2019 NFL Draft.

“Just excited to get out there and play football,” Minshew said. “Wherever, whenever, it’s always a good time.”

Minshew is starting for the injured Anthony Richardson, who is now on IR due to a shoulder injury.

Minshew has played in five games for the Colts already this season. He started in another road contest last month, when he led Indy to an overtime win against the Baltimore Ravens.

“You can never take it for granted,” Minshew said. “I think being off the field and not being able to play just really ignites that fire in you, realizes how much you miss it, and I’m just grateful every time I get to step out there.”

His teammates have said all season that they feel confident whenever Minshew is under center, and head coach Shane Steichen said this week he feels the same way.

“When you got a guy like Gardner (Minshew II), a veteran guy that’s done it and done it at a high level, it definitely eases that,” Steichen said. “Like I said, the team has confidence in him, coaches have confidence in him to go out and perform at a high level.”

Be sure to tune into “Countdown to Kickoff” on Sunday at 11 a.m. on WISH-TV to hear from Minshew and the Colts ahead of Sunday’s AFC South showdown against the Jaguars. News 8 Sports reporter Andrew Chernoff will also have live reports from the field at EverBank Stadium throughout the one-hour long pregame show.