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Gardner Minshew's legend grows with tale of how QB once purposefully tried to break his own hand

Jack Baer
Yahoo Sports Contributor

Between his mustacheincredible backstory and early success as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ quarterbacks, Gardner Minshew is the NFL’s newest cult hero.

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He added to that status Friday morning, when he told a bonkers story during the Pardon My Take podcast about the extremes he once went to so he could continue his college football career.

‘Jack Daniels and a hammer’

The story dates back to Minshew’s career at East Carolina, before he transferred to Washington State, won Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, got drafted in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft and took over as the Jaguars starter for an injured Nick Foles.

Basically, Minshew wanted an extra year of college eligibility, and he saw only one way to get a medical redshirt.

transcription from CBS Sports:

"Here's a story, the only group of people I've ever told is the Washington State football team before this last year and it was just about, 'What would you do to play more football?'" Minshew told the Pardon My Take podcast. "I went [to ECU] from junior college and the situation was I had two seniors above me, so I was hoping to go in there, redshirt and then be able to play three. It was an awesome setup. We get into about Game 4 and we moved our backup to running back and our starter got knocked out with a concussion. So shoot, I'm standing there and I go in and play about a half.

"Then we go in for the next weekend and the starter's going to be back. So I'm like, 'Dang man, I just played a half and really wasted a year on playing a half of ball.' 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. 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."

So, uh, yeah. The man reportedly took a swig of whiskey, slammed his hand with a hammer three times, took another swig, hit it another three times, then admitted defeat. Don’t try that at home, kids.

Minshew said he walked away with a bruised throwing hand and explained the injury to the East Carolina coaches by lying that he closed it in a car door.

As it turns out, breaking his hand proved unnecessary for Gardner Minshew to continue his football career. Who could have guessed? (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Minshew ended up playing seven games for the Pirates that year, too many for a medical redshirt. He indeed lost a year of eligibility as Minnesota castoff Philip Nelson’s back-up.

It obviously all worked out, though, as the rest of his career eventually landed him with quite possibly the best shot at a real NFL career he was ever going to get.

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