July 19, 2024

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence to undergo tests on injured shoulder


TAMPA — Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence will undergo further testing on his injured right shoulder Monday, which leaves his status for Sunday’s critical game against the Carolina Panthers in doubt.

“It’s bothering me,” Lawrence said after the Jaguars’ 30-12 loss to Tampa at Raymond James Stadium. “Hopefully nothing major but, yeah, it’s bugging me right now.”

Lawrence was hurt when he stretched and dove for a first down on the sideline on a fourth-and-1 play late in the third quarter. He was shoved by Bucs linebacker Yaya Diaby as he was diving, landed on his right shoulder out of bounds and slid into the Bucs’ bench area.

Lawrence stayed in the game to finish out the drive, completing 4 of 5 passes, including an 18-yarder to Calvin Ridley for a touchdown.

“When I landed I knew something was off,” Lawrence said. “And the next play it kind of hurts to throw. I wanted to finish the drive out and we were able to get some points, and then on the two-point [conversion attempt] could tell by the way I threw it I couldn’t really get my shoulder up good enough to really keep playing.

“I would’ve loved to have stayed in but just kind of hurting everybody at that point if I do, so they made the call to just take a seat the rest of the night.”

Backup C.J. Beathard finished the game and completed 11 of 15 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. Lawrence had completed 18 of 30 passes for 213 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions and lost a fumble before he left the game. Per ESPN Stats & Information, this was Lawrence’s eighth career game with three-plus turnovers, which is three more than any other player since Lawrence entered the NFL in 2021. Buffalo’s Josh Allen and New England’s Mac Jones have five games with three-plus turnovers.

Lawrence tried to keep his right arm and shoulder still as he walked off the field following the loss and behaved the same way in his postgame news conference, though he did move his arm at times. At the time Lawrence was hurt, the Jaguars were trailing 30-0, but head coach Doug Pederson said he did not consider benching Lawrence — who spent all week in the NFL’s concussion protocol before being cleared Saturday morning — at that point in the third quarter.

Lawrence was hurt with 2:26 remaining in the period. Pederson also said he never considered not starting Lawrence against the Bucs, even though he didn’t practice Wednesday and Thursday and only participated on a limited basis in Friday’s practice.

“Once Trevor was cleared and he was good, he spent the week in the meetings and all that, I did not hesitate [to start him against the Bucs] once he was cleared,” Pederson said. “He’s our starter and we roll.”

This is the fourth injury that Lawrence has suffered this season. He suffered a sprained left knee late in the Jaguars’ victory over Indianapolis in Week 6, but he led the Jaguars to a victory over the New Orleans Saints four days later on a Thursday night. He suffered a high ankle sprain against Cincinnati on Dec. 4 but started the following week in Cleveland.

Lawrence has started 49 consecutive games since the Jaguars drafted him first overall in 2021, which is tied with Patrick Mahomes for the second longest active streak among quarterbacks. Allen has started 86 consecutive games for Buffalo.

The Jaguars (8-7) have lost four consecutive games but remain atop the AFC South by virtue of tiebreakers over Houston (8-7) and Indianapolis (8-7). Per ESPN analytics, the Jaguars still have a 65% chance of winning the division and can clinch their second consecutive division title Sunday by beating the Panthers and losses by the Texans and Colts.

The Jaguars turned the ball over four times against the Bucs — giving them 10 in the past three games — and ran for a season-low 37 yards. The defense allowed the Bucs to convert 10 of 19 third downs and failed to force a turnover for the first time in December. A month ago, there was talk of the Jaguars competing for the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but now Lawrence is at a loss to figure out how to stop their freefall.

“It just looks like we don’t even practice,” he said. “We look lost. No sense of urgency. The list goes on and on. I feel like we have good weeks of preparation and I feel like we’re prepared going into games and then something happens on game day the last month where it just all falls apart.

“This is our season. We’ve worked hard to be in this position and we’re close to pissing it away so we’ve got to figure it out.”

When asked if things were at a crisis point in the season, Pederson was blunt: “I would say, yeah. Our goals are still in front of us. Nothing’s changed there but somewhere we’ve got to stop this dam from busting wide open.”

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