DECEMBER 10: Trending upward throughout the week, Lawrence will complete a surprisingly quick recovery effort by starting Sunday. The Jaguars will have their QB1 in the lineup against the Browns, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. The Jags have since announced Lawrence will get the call, continuing a streak of availability to start his NFL career.
DECEMBER 8: Despite exiting Monday night’s game severely hobbled, Trevor Lawrence is firmly in play to avoid missing a game. The Jaguars quarterback, who has never missed a game during his three-year NFL career, practiced in a limited capacity for the second time this week.
Missing practice Wednesday, Lawrence moved well on his injured ankle Thursday, per Doug Pederson (via ESPN’s Michael DiRocco). The Jaguars have listed their franchise centerpiece as questionable for their Week 14 game against the Browns. Jacksonville has deemed the former No. 1 overall pick a game-time decision.
Considering the visual Monday night, Lawrence having a chance to play six days later is rather surprising. But he has played through issues before. The Clemson product returned from an October knee injury on a short week, playing with a sleeve on his sprained knee during a Thursday-night win against the Saints.
While this high ankle sprain represents a more serious threat to Lawrence’s availability, he has demonstrated early-career durability. Patrick Mahomes also showed how quickly a quarterback can return from this injury last season, when he went down against the Jaguars in the divisional round. Though, a report earlier this week detailed Lawrence’s precise injury and the uphill battle associated with it.
The Jags would start C.J. Beathard, who re-signed this offseason, should they exercise caution with Lawrence. Beathard is not on the team’s injury report after suffering a shoulder setback Monday night. The team’s three-season backup, Beathard last started a game for the 49ers in 2020.
The Week 13 loss to the Bengals dropped the Jaguars to 8-4, behind the Chiefs (due to the defending champs’ head-to-head win in Week 2) in the AFC playoff picture. Lawrence returning so soon would certainly help the team as it attempts to keep the AFC South lead and win back-to-back division titles for the first time since it claimed AFC Central crowns in 1998 and ’99. The Colts and Texans are each a game back of the Jags in the division.