DECEMBER 6: It probably goes without saying that Lawrence will need to show significant improvement to play in Week 14, and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport detailed during a Good Morning Football appearance this sprain has affected the ligament connecting the tibia to the fibula. The third-year QB faces an uphill battle to be ready for the Jaguars-Browns matchup, though it still represents good news for the Jags that Lawrence playing Sunday is even a consideration after the scene Monday.
DECEMBER 5: The Jaguars suffered an upset loss Monday night, but the key takeaway from the game was the injury suffered by quarterback Trevor Lawrence. He was forced to leave the contest and did not return, leading to questions about the length of time he will miss as a result.
Lawrence is believed to have suffered a high ankle sprain, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. His colleague Cameron Wolfe adds the former No. 1 pick was using crutches and a walking boot as he exited the stadium after the game.
A Tuesday MRI does not appear to have produced a diagnosis that would threaten Lawrence’s season, with The Athletic’s Jeff Howe indicating the third-year QB will attempt an aggressive rehab program with the intent of playing in Week 14 against the Browns. Though, it is still too early to know if the Jags will have their starter back so soon after he limped off the field Monday night.
Lawrence could still be in line to miss at least some time, something which would deal a major blow to Jacksonville’s offense and the team’s bid to maintain its lead atop the AFC South. Monday’s loss dropped the Jaguars to 8-4, just one game ahead of the Texans and Colts. Lawrence has yet to miss a start in his NFL career.
The 24-year-old endured a forgettable rookie season during Urban Meyer‘s brief time as the Jaguars’ head coach, but he took a step forward last season while leading the team to the divisional round of the postseason. Expectations were high entering 2023, the second year with Doug Pederson at the helm. Lawrence and the offense have shown flashes during the campaign, but overall the unit has put up middling numbers in a number of categories. Lawrence has thrown no more than two touchdowns in any contest this season, surpassing 275 passing yards four times so far.
Still, the Clemson alum remains the focal point of an offense which has not managed to run the ball consistently. Jacksonville sits 22nd in the NFL with an average of 103 yards per game on the ground, so leaning increasingly on Travis Etienne may not produce an effective counterbalance to Lawrence missing time. Provided the latter is sidelined for any of the Jaguars’ remaining contests, veteran C.J. Beathard will likely be relied upon under center.
Beathard finished yesterday’s game, his 11th total appearance with Jacksonville dating back to 2021. The 30-year-old has not started a game since the end of his 49ers tenure in 2020, however. When speaking after the game, Pederson admitted a timeline for Lawrence’s absence is currently unknown while expressing support for Beathard (via ESPN’s Michael DiRocco) if he is thrust into a starting role down the stretch. Jacksonville also has Nathan Rourke – who joined the team this offseason after an impressive stint in the CFL which drew the attention of several interested teams – available on the QB depth chart.