The Jacksonville Jaguars ended a four-game losing skid when they shut out the Carolina Panthers in Week 17. What's more, they did it without Trevor Lawrence, who missed the bout with a shoulder sprain. While Lawrence returned to practice and tested his shoulder Thursday, his status for the finale is uncertain. With or without him, the Jags will need to beat the Tennessee Titans to qualify for the postseason.
If Jacksonville loses, they'll need help from other teams to get in. That's why they cannot leave their destiny in the hands of other clubs. Having Lawrence behind center would increase their chances of coming out on top. However, they cannot expose him to further injury, especially, if he's not 100 percent, so C.J. Beathard would ultimately get the starting nod.
Working in the Jags' favor is that they're getting healthier at the right time. Wide receiver Christian Kirk is back from Injured Reserve and Zay Jones got more work in practice after being limited last week and sitting out the past two games. On top of that, Walker Little and Ezra Cleveland had no restrictions in practice, so Jacksonville is going to go into the finale with nearly a full deck.
This may turn out to be a close game like last year's finale. Coincidentally, Jacksonville also faced a Titans team that took things to the wire. So what should be expected from the Jaguars? Here are five predictions for the divisional bout.
5. Antonio Johnson will register his 4th turnover of the season
Rookie Antonio Johnson showed promise in training camp. Although he was listed as a safety, he also got lots of reps in the slot. Unfortunately, he had to wait several weeks to get a chance to showcase his talent. The former Texas A&M Aggie has made the most of his opportunity, tallying three turnovers in the past eight games.
Johnson will once again see extended playing time against the Titans and he'll reward the team's trust with yet another takeaway, his fourth one of the season.