The Jacksonville Jaguars could have a full deck or close to it when they face the Tennessee Titans in the finale. The listed three players on the injury report ahead of the divisional matchup, and all three could end up suiting up.
Trevor Lawrence, Christian Kirk and Zay Jones all got the questionable tag for the game. Head coach Doug Pederson told the local media Friday that Lawrence would be a game-time decision, noting that he wanted to watch how he handled the preparation for the game.
"Not only the work but the timing of the throwing and getting through the game plan today because there's not a ton of reps on Friday. "We're kind of condensing everything, so just seeing how he handles all that, he's been plugged in and engaged all week, mentally, so now it's just the physical part.
It looks like Lawrence turned out fine. Besides getting the questionable tag and making the trip to Tennessee, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports Lawrence is pushing to play and not at risk of reinjuring his shoulder. His status for the game will ultimately be more of a pain tolerance thing.
While Lawrence's status for the bout is one of the biggest storylines ahead of the game, Christian Kirk's availability has also gotten lots of attention after returning to practice this week. Pederson said Kirk did well in practice but the team would make a decision on whether they were going to move him to the active roster Saturday.
"Christian, he's looked good, he's hitting some of his own benchmark numbers as far as running is concerned. Straight line running, now it's a matter of the cutting, more football work. He did some things yesterday in practice. We'll we'll wrap him up again, and see how he feels," Pederson said.
They did activate Kirk off of Injured Reserve, so he's got a chance to play Early Saturday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported that things were trending that way. Later, James Palmer added that other Jaguars players had no clue Kirk was close to returning, so they were taken aback a bit when they saw him running sprints Tuesday.
Kirk suffered a core injury after reeling in a 26-yard pass — the Jags' first offensive play of the game — during the Monday Night loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He then spent the past four weeks on Injured Reserve and started practicing this week. The Jags felt good enough about his progress that they went ahead and activated him.
Had Kirk not been good to go, Parker Washington would've likely filled in for him. Washington, a sixth-round pick in this year's draft, saw an increase in his workload during Kirk's absence.
On the other, Pederson said during the week that he expected Jones to get a bigger workload in practice and play Sunday. Jones last played against the Baltimore Ravens. He's missed eight non-consecutive games with a knee injury, Here's the team's final report.
It looks like Trevor Lawrence will suit up vs. the Titans
Trevor Lawrence missed the first game of his NFL career against the Carolina Panthers. He suffered a shoulder sprain in the loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He returned to practice this week and is feeling a bit better, albeit with still some discomfort.
When Lawrence met with the local media, he said that making certain moves bothered him but noted that he was feeling much better. He'll probably test the shoulder before the game, and his status will ultimately be dependent on how comfortable he feels. The same is true for Christian Kirk, who is also poised to be a game-time decision.
If Lawrence isn't good to go, C.J. Beathard will then make his second straight start. Against the Panthers, he went 17-of-24 for 178 yards. While his numbers didn't pop off the stat sheet, he did enough to lead the Jaguars to a win. That said, the team will probably want Lawrence to get the nod if he's good to go given the stakes of the game.
With or without Lawrence, the Jaguars need to squeeze what will essentially be a playoff game. If they come out on top. Win and the season continues. Lose and go home.