Update on Jaguars’ Trevor Lawrence: Ankle Injury forces exit from Monday Night Football

Posted on: December 5, 2023, 09:56h. 

Last updated on: December 5, 2023, 09:56h.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence hobbled off the field with a right ankle injury during an overtime loss against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football.

Jaguars Trevor Lawrence injury
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, seen here getting assistance off the field, sustained an ankle injury against the Cincinnati Bengals at EverBank Stadium. (Image: Getty)

Backup quarterback C.J. Beathard finished the game for the Jaguars, but the Bengals prevailed 34-31 in overtime.

Bengals backup quarterback Jake Browning earned his first victory as a starter since he replaced Joe Burrow in the lineup. Burrow underwent season-ending surgery after he tore ligaments in his wrist on his throwing hand on Thursday Night Football in Week 11.

The Bengals had lost three games in a row until they upset the Jaguars in Week 13. The Jaguars were a -10 favorite in their first appearance on Monday Night Football in over a decade.

Lawrence Had Just Recovered from a Knee Injury

Lawrence was knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter when offensive lineman Walker Little stepped on his right ankle and Lawrence fell backwards. He attempted to walk off to the sidelines, but could not make it.

Training staff attended to Lawrence, and he refused a medical cart. He needed assistance to the sidelines and eventually to the locker room.

“I’ve been here three years and Trevor’s battled through all types of injuries, little things here and there,” said Beathard. “To see him have to get carried off the field, it hurts.”

Lawrence was initially diagnosed with a sprained ankle. X-rays were negative. Lawrence will undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the ankle injury.

Lawrence sustained a knee injury earlier in the season in mid-October but he did not miss any games. The sore knee impacted his agility and he looked off for a couple of games, but the Jaguars squeaked by with victories against the New Orleans Saints in Week 7 and against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8.

The Jaguars looked awful the game after their bye week in a 34-3 loss against the San Francisco 49ers. They bounced back with consecutive victories against AFC South rivals, including a 34-14 victory against the Tennessee Titans in Week 11 and a 24-21 win against the Houston Texans in Week 12.

Lawrence finally played like his old self in Week 11 when he tossed two touchdowns and rushed for two more against the Titans. In Week 12, Lawrence passed for a season-high 364 yards in a tough divisional joust against the Texans.

Next Man Up: Backup C.J. Beathard

If Lawrence is unable to play against the Cleveland Browns in Week 14, then Beathard will start.

We’ll see where Trevor’s at first, but we’ve got 100% confidence in C.J.,” said head coach Doug Pederson. “He’s a veteran player. He’s played a lot of football, and if he happens to be the guy, then we’ll get behind him and support him.”

Beathard has not started in a game since the 2020 season. He has an 2-10 record as a starter in 12 starts with the San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers selected Iowa’s Beathard with a third-round draft pick in 2017. He spent his first three seasons with 49ers before joining the Jaguars in 2021 as a backup behind Lawrence.

Beathard completed 59.5% of his passes for 3,614, 18 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions in 30 career appearances.

The Browns are currently a -1.5 favorite when they host the Jaguars in Week 14.

Veteran quarterback Joe Flacco looked good in his first game as the starter in a loss against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 13. Deshaun Watson is out for the season while he recovers from shoulder surgery. Rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson replaced Watson in the lineup, but he’s still in concussion protocol.

Jaguars Futures and Playoff Implications

The Jaguars entered the Monday Night Football game with an 8-3 record and attempted to put themselves in a position to seize the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs and jump ahead of the Miami Dolphins (9-3) and Baltimore Ravens (9-3).

After losing in Week 13, the Jaguars are now 8-4. If the season ended today, the Jaguars would earn the #4 seed in the AFC playoffs. However, they saw their divisional lead trimmed to one game over the upstart Texans (7-5) and the resilient Indianapolis Colts (7-5).

The Texans are on the playoff bubble, but the Colts currently occupy one of the three AFC Wild Card spots thanks to backup quarterback Gardner Minshew. Rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson had season-ending shoulder surgery, and running back Jonathan Taylor will miss a couple of weeks while recovering from thumb surgery.

The Jaguars are still the team to beat in the AFC South according to bookmakers. They are -240 odds to win the division, and ahead of the Texans (+350) and Colts (+550).

According to a playoff projection by Upshot, the Jaguars have a 79% chance to win the AFC South. The Texans have a 15% chance to win the division, and the Colts are a long shot at 6%. The Texans have an 82% chance to qualify for the playoffs, and the Colts have a 60% chance.

The Jaguars are now +2000 odds to win the Super Bowl. Their odds dipped after the overtime loss to the Bengals last night.

The Jaguars are +1000 odds to win the AFC Championship, and they’re fourth on the futures board behind the Dolphins (+260), Chiefs (+260), and Ravens (+290).

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