The Jacksonville Jaguars got off to a bad start in Week 16 and it's just snowballed from there. Besides losing 30-6, they have now lost Trevor Lawrence to a shoulder injury. Early in the fourth quarterback, it looked like he was getting checked at the sidelines from the broadcast. The team's official PR account later announced that Lawrence was questionable to return.
Before leaving, Lawrence was 18-of-30 for 213 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He also lost a forced fumble. Given that the team was down by more than 20 points, it didn't make sense for him to play through injury if he could, so Beathard took his place in the lineup. Stay tuned for more updates.
Lawrence isn't the only Jaguars player who's questionable to return. Also, safety Daniel Thomas, and right tackle Anton Harrison are questionable to return with forearm and back injuries, respectively.
Even if Lawrence can return, it doesn't make sense to put him back on the field. A win seems out of reach, and exposing him to further risk may not be in his best interest long-term. He suffered a concussion against the Baltimore Ravens and spent most of the week in protocol. He received clearance Saturday.
On top of that, Lawrence has dealt with other injuries. He hurt his knee against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 6. More recently, he sustained an ankle sprain in the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13. While he's missed a handful of practices, he has played every game in 2023.
The Jaguars are playing back with or without Trevor Lawrence
The offense has tallied a measly 84 total yards and six first downs at halftime. They had -3 rushing yards on seven attempts. The defense was equally dreadful, letting Bake Mayfield go 18-of-23 for 184 yards. At one point, his only incompletion came in a pass defensed, but other than that, Jacksonville made him look like an All-Pro quarterback.
Drops, missed tackles, and overthrown passes — issues that were present in the last three losses — were present in Week 16. At this point, the Jaguars are in free fall, and it doesn't look like things are going to change the rest of the way.