Blake Bortles to head west to train, expects to be 100 percent in two weeks

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles said he’s on track with his rehab from right wrist surgery and expects to be cleared with no restrictions in early March.

Bortles is heading out to California this weekend to begin his offseason work with throwing coach Adam Dedeaux at 3DQB but will have a limited program for the next two weeks. He has been rehabbing in Jacksonville since his surgery on Jan. 26.

“For these next two weeks to kind of get me to that six-week mark of the rehab and be 100 percent cleared, we came up with a program here that [head athletic trainer Scott] Trulock and us talked about,” Bortles said Saturday night on a conference call after he signed a three-year contract extension with the Jags. “Just as far as controlling the amount of throws, the velocity, the yardage and doing that. So that’ll take place for the next two weeks, and ideally I’ll be cleared and back to just my normal throwing program four days a week trying to get everything tuned up and ready to go for OTAs.”

Bortles said he had a partially torn ligament on the outside of his wrist and inflammation on the top of his wrist that was repaired during what he called a “cleanup-type procedure.” Bortles played the entire 2017 season with the injury, and he said he had three cortisone injections throughout the season.

Bortles said he never came close to missing a game, but the cortisone injections became less effective as the season progressed.

“By the end of [the season], it was kind of, they didn’t want to do really any more cortisone shots, so it was a 'Let’s make it through the season and get it fixed and get it right after the year,'” Bortles said.

Despite playing with the injury, Bortles had the best season of his career. He completed 60.2 percent of his passes (the first time he surpassed the 60 percent mark) for 3,687 yards and 21 touchdowns with 13 interceptions.

The Jaguars went 10-6 and won the AFC South -- the franchise’s first division title since 1999 -- and made the playoffs for the first time since the 2007 season. The Jaguars beat Buffalo at home and Pittsburgh on the road to reach the AFC Championship Game against New England at Gillette Stadium.

Bortles completed 58 percent of his passes for 598 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in the postseason. He also ran 17 times for 121 yards, including 88 yards in the victory over Buffalo. He led a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown drives to help the Jaguars beat the Steelers 45-42.

Bortles had a better season in 2017 after spending significantly more time at 3DQB, a quarterback training facility, in the offseason. He first went out to California after his rookie season and had what appeared to be a breakout season in 2015: franchise records in passing yards (4,428) and passing touchdowns (35).

However, he spent much less time at 3DQB in the months after that season, spending more time in Jacksonville to throw with Jaguars receivers at a local high school. His mechanics suffered, and he struggled in 2016. He admitted after the season that he needs the extra time to maintain his mechanics, and he spent more than two months in California before the 2017 season.

Bortles said he’s heading west Sunday, and he’s leaving with a lot more money in his pocket. He signed a three-year extension worth $54 million (up to $66.5 million with incentives) on Saturday night that guarantees him $26.5 million. The extension came together in less than a week.

“Everybody dreams of making $100 million, or the quarterbacks are kind of expected to sign that big deal, and that was never something that was very important to me,” Bortles said. “I think signing the second deal with the team that drafted you was my goal from the beginning. It’s been done, and I’m excited and I think thrilled and proud of myself for being able to do that. There’s obviously still a lot of work that needs to go on.”