A shoulder sprain kept Trevor Lawrence from suiting up for the Jacksonville Jaguars when they faced the Carolina Panthers in Week 17. Head coach Doug Pederson met with the local media Monday and provided an update on Lawrence's injured shoulder.
Pederson says that Lawrence is day-to-day but definitely improving. Also, he expects wide receiver Zay Jones to potentially get more playing time this week, via John Shipley of Sports Illustrated. On a similar note, the Jags are optimistic about Christian Kirk, who suffered a groin injury on Monday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals and spent four weeks on Injured Reserve.
Lawrence suffered an ankle sprain in the Week 16 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and missed practice on the days ahead of the Panthers game. Unlike previous instances in which Lawrence played despite being injured, he was ruled out since Friday.
Back in Week 6, Lawrence suffered a knee injury. He suffered an ankle sprain in Week 14 and a concussion in the loss against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 15. He got the questionable tag after sustaining all those injuries but ultimately suited up.
Jones has also been hampered by injuries this season. He's currently dealing with a knee injury he suffered in the Ravens game, and has sat out eight games his season. The former East Carolina Panther has hauled in 28 receptions for 279 yards with two touchdowns this season.
Before suffering the groin injury on MNF, Kirk was the team's top receiver, hauling in 57 receptions for 787 yards with three touchdowns. His potential return could give the passing game a boost in light of the news that Jamal Agnew will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining a lower leg fracture in the 26-0 win over Carolina.
The Jaguars may want to play it safe with Trevor Lawrence, let him rest for the playoffs
Although C.J. Beathard was serviceable in Week 17, the Jaguars would surely love to have Trevor Lawrence in the lineup for the season finale against the Tennessee Titans. Back when he was in concussion protocol, Doug Pederson said that any team would pick their starter if given the choice, and he's right. More often than not, there's a dropoff from the starting quarterback and the backup.
That said, it may be a good idea to let Trevor Lawrence rest in Week 18. Not only is he dealing with the shoulder sprain, but he's taken a beating this season. Lawrence would go if given the chance, that's how much of a competitor he is. However, all those ailments have taken a toll on him, and he could benefit from an extended break.
The playoffs are on the line. If the Jaguars want to get in, they'll need to beat the Titans. Usually, having Lawrence behind center would give them the best chance to win but he wasn't particularly efficient during the team's four-game losing skid, completing 60.9 percent of his passes for 990 yards with seven touchdowns, five interceptions, and three lost fumbles.
Thus, it would be a good idea to let Lawrence rest and clear his mind. At times, it seemed like he was trying to overcompensate for the Jaguars' shortcomings. As Beathard proved against the Panthers, he doesn't have to look for the big play every time, he just needs to avoid mistakes, and get the ball to his playmakers a.k.a Calvin Ridley, Evan Engram, and possibly Christian Kirk if he returns.
If the Jacksonville Jaguars do make the playoffs, they'll need Trevor Lawrence to be at full strength or as close as he can be. He may have an itch to play in the finale, but holding him out is probably the best course of action.