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Gardner Minshew tried breaking his own hand with a hammer to get a medical redshirt

Tennessee Titans v Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew has thrown for five touchdowns this season using the hand he once tried to break by hitting it multiple times with a hammer.
(James Gilbert / Getty Images)

The legend of Gardner Minshew continues to grow.

On an episode of the Barstool Sports podcast “Pardon My Take” posted Friday morning, the Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback was asked to tell “the most Gardner Minshew story of all time.”

He delivered a doozy.

Minshew told a story from his first year at East Carolina after transferring from Northwest Mississippi Community College. With two senior quarterbacks ahead of him, Minshew planned to redshirt that season and start for the Pirates the next three years. But when circumstances beyond his control led him to seeing action in part of one game, Minshew knew a medical redshirt was the only way he could preserve his three years of eligibility.

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“So, you know, I get an idea,” Minshew said on the podcast, which was recorded prior to the Jaguars’ 20-7 win over the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night. “I go home, I grab a bottle of Jack Daniels and I grab a hammer.

“And, I go back into my room, I take a pull of the Jack Daniels, I put my hand down on the table and BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! 1, 2, 3, hit the hell out of my hand, dude!”

Whoa! Well, at least it was over with quick and easy, right?

Nope.

News that former UCLA standout Josh Rosen would replace Ryan Fitzpatrick as Dolphins starting quarterback was met with collective shrug in Miami and beyond.

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“I’m sitting there shaking but I know it’s not broke, so I’m like, come on,” the man with the most famous mustache in football said. “Take another pull, 1, 2, 3 again. Still nothing. I’m just shaking at this point, man, but I knew it wasn’t broken. So one more time, another pull, another three hits and that was all I could take. I couldn’t break my own hand.”

Minshew said he had a “swollen-ass hand for a few weeks” and that he told his coaches he had slammed it in a car door. But he still ended up playing seven games for the Pirates that season, including two starts.

“It was good getting that experience,” Minshew said he now realizes.

Minshew became the team’s full-time starter the following year, then transferred to Washington State, where he was named the Pac-12 offensive player of the year after throwing for 4,776 yards with 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions last season.

He was drafted by the Jaguars in the sixth round this spring and put to work early after starting quarterback Nick Foles broke his collarbone in the season opener. Minshew has turned a lot of heads since then, completing 73.9% of his passes with five touchdowns and one interception.

So many questions could be asked about Minshew’s crazy story from his college days, but here’s just one: How was his hand not broken after being hit with a hammer nine times?

“I had to go left-handed with the hammer trying to hit the right hand,” Minshew said. “It’s a lot harder than you would think.”


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