The Jacksonville Jaguars announced early Wednesday that they had activated wide receiver Christian Kirk's window to return from Injured Reserve. However, head coach Doug Pederson won't make any guarantees about his status for the season finale against the Tennesse Titans.
Pederson met with the local media and shared injury updates on Kirk, and other players. The head coach says that Kirk is getting healthy but he's currently day-to-day. When asked what odds would he place on Kirk suiting up in Week 18, the head coach said jokingly that he's not a betting man, stating that they'll see how he is at the end of the week.
"He's getting healthy, we don't want any setbacks, so this will be a slow gradual process... he's been around the team, he hasn't necessarily been with the team but it's good to get him back with the guys," Pederson said in regards to Kirk.
Pederson also said that Trevor Lawrence remains day-to-day with the shoulder sprain he sustained in the loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Lawrence sat out the game against the Carolina Panthers in Week 17. If he isn't good to go, C.J. Beathard will then make his second start in Jaguars uniform in the finale.
Wide receiver Zay Jones will be limited in practice. He's day-to-day with a hamstring injury after missing the past two games. Doug Pederson says Jones is doing better than he was last week, so he anticipates him to do more in practice.
The Jaguars may want to play it safe with Christian Kik and Trevor Lawrence
Christian Kirk hurt his groin after reeling in a pass in the Week 13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He was then placed on IR, where he spent four weeks. Not long after the Jacksonville Jaguars activated him off of IR, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media made a post on social media about Kirk's impact.
Trevor Lawrence's completion percentage has decreased more than 10.0 percent without Kirk, also his TD-INT has taken a significant hit. Granted, he's been playing hurt and he's been pressing to make big plays to overcompensate for the team's shortcomings. That said, it's not hyperbole to say that the Jaguars are a much better team with Kirk in the fold, which is why they need to take a conservative approach with him and Lawrence.
There's no point in thrusting them back on the field before they're ready to contribute. They would only expose him to further injury, and that could fire back if they make the playoffs. The team's brass is better off holding Kirk and Lawrence out in the finale (if they aren't good to go) and giving them one extra week of rest so they can be ready for the playoffs.
While it would most definitely help the Jaguars to have Kirk and Lawrence back for the finale, they managed to scrape out a win with C.J. Beathard under center. They could pull it off again. It will be more challenging but it's doable. They'll be facing a Titans team that wants to play spoiler and knock their division foe out of the playoffs.
Whether Christian Kirk and Trevor Lawrence suit up against Tennessee, it's good to hear that they're taking a step in the right direction, and the team won't rush them back into action.