Injuries can have a huge impact on the outcome of a game and often tip the scale in a team's favor. In this case, two injuries that took place in Week 11's Thursday Night Football could end up benefitting the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews suffered an ankle injury that will likely end his 2023 season. While it's up to debate whether linebacker Logan Wilson's hip-drop tackle was necessary or not, there's no doubt that missing the three-time Pro Bowl nod will have a negative impact on the Ravens' offense. Following the game, head coach John Harbaugh told the media that it was, "a form of a high ankle [injury] but more than just a sprain."
Besides losing 34-20, the Cincinnati Bengals also experienced a significant loss on TNF. Joe Burrow entered the game wearing what appeared to be a hand cast. He eventually left the game with a wrist injury, unable to grip the football. It's uncertain how serious the injury is but Cincy is currently under investigation for not disclosing the injury prior to the game.
Following the loss, head coach Zach Taylor told the media he wasn't aware Burrow was wearing a cast. Since it's uncertain how severe the injury was/is, it's hard to tell whether the fourth-year quarterback will miss any time.
It's also worth noting that Deshaun Watson is also out for the season after suffering ankle and shoulder injuries in Week 10. Moving forward, the Cleveland Browns will roll with rookie Dorian-Thomson-Robinson as their starting quarterback. This means that he'll be behind center when they face Jacksonville in Week 14.
The Jacksonville Jaguars could get a break but they still go their work cut out
The Jags are currently in the midst of a six-game gauntlet that started with the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10. Next are the division rivals Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans. They'll then take on the Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Cincinnati Bengals. Not having to go against Deshaun Watson, who was beginning to hit his stride, Mark Andrews, and potentially Joe Burrow has eased Jacksonville's upcoming slate a bit. That said, they cannot take their foot off the gas pedal.
If anything, these recent injuries should incentivize the Jaguars to get back on track after their embarrassing loss to the 49ers. Moreover, the Baltimore offense is still very capable of putting points on the scoreboard even without Mark Andrews. Lamar Jackson still has Zay Jones, Rashod Bateman, and Odell Beckham, so offensive coordinator Todd Monken should find a way to work around Mark Andrew's absence.
The same is true for the Browns. Having one of the most dominant defenses in the league takes a significant amount of pressure off Dorian Thompson-Robinson's shoulders. All he has to do is get the football to his receivers and avoid making questionable decisions. If he does, Cleveland will manage to stay afloat. Last, but not least, there's no update on Burrow's wrist injury, so may be able to return in time for Week 13, when the Jaguars are scheduled to face Cincinnati on Monday Night Football.
In the end, the Jacksonville Jaguars need to worry about themselves. If they play to their strengths, something they haven't been able to do in recent weeks, it won't matter who their opponent is.