After this game in which we saw Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence injure his right ankle and walk off gingerly toward an X-ray and the coming hours of uncertainty, there was an uplifting sight in the home team’s locker room.
Lawrence and backup quarterback C.J. Beathard shared a conversation, some smiles, and even some optimism.
“Yeah, he’s doing good,” Beathard said afterward. “Obviously, he’s sore right now. But I talked with him in the locker room and he was in good spirits. He was [complimentary] of me and proud of me and stuff.
“You just feel bad whenever your friends [go down] … Anytime guys get hurt, whether it’s for a play, whether it’s for a long period of time, you just feel bad for them.”
Lawrence MRI Must Confirm Early Optimism
Lawrence’s X-ray was negative, per a source. So there is no apparent fracture. The club believes Lawrence suffered an ankle sprain but an MRI will be done Tuesday to confirm the complete extent of the damage.
The initial belief is Lawrence’s injury is not season-ending, a source said.
Lawrence had his ankle taped and trainers gave him a walking boot. He was also on crutches. So the idea is for him to keep weight off that ankle.
Coach Doug Pederson, by the way, gave no clue as to whether the injury will keep Lawrence out for weeks or at all.
“I don’t have any information on Trevor,” Pederson said. “We’re still evaluating him.”
QB Injuries Affecting Potential Playoff Teams
The Lawrence injury continues a frightful trend in the NFL this season. Because this has been the year of the injured starting quarterback.
Eight teams, including the Jaguars, have lost their starting quarterback at some point this year. That is fully one-quarter of the league.
And most of those have been of the season-ending variety, including Joe Burrow in Cincinnati, Deshaun Watson in Cleveland, Anthony Richardson in Indianapolis, Kirk Cousins in Minnesota, Daniel Jones with the Giants, and perhaps even Aaron Rodgers with the Jets if he’s unable to return.
With that quarterback injury bug being so large, it is a factor in the postseason picture.
If Lawrence cannot play Sunday, that means four of the seven AFC teams currently holding a playoff spot would be starting a backup quarterback. That list includes the Steelers, Browns and Colts.
C.J. Beathard Would Start If Lawrence Cannot
If Lawrence cannot return to the lineup in time for Sunday’s game at Cleveland then Beathard would be asked to step forward and start. Lawrence has started 46 consecutive games for the Jaguars.
Beathard has been with the Jaguars since 2021 but had attempted only 17 passes before entering this game in the fourth quarter. He had completed 12 of those passes without a touchdown but with an interception.
Beathard finished the game, which the Bengals won 34-31 in overtime, with nine completions on 10 attempts for 63 yards. He led a tying field goal drive.
The irony is the Jaguars may have to rely on their backup for a while after being dismantled by a backup quarterback.
Cincinnati’s Jake Browning completed 32 of 37 passes (an impressive 86.4 completion percentage) for 354 yards and 1 TD.
The Bengals are 6-6 and believe they still have a chance of getting into the playoffs, which mathematically they do. This with a backup quarterback in the season of rampant starting quarterback injuries.