Trevor Lawrence suffered a high ankle sprain in last week’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. This is usually a three-week comeback at the very least. Many were shocked when Lawrence returned to the practice field in a limited capacity just days later.
The Jaguars listed their starting quarterback as questionable for Sunday’s matchup with the Cleveland Browns. The Browns themselves have the same question about who would start in Week 14 with Joe Flacco likely but Dorian Thompson-Robinson listed as the team’s starter.
Saturday, Jacksonville signed Nathan Rourke to their active roster which either was an indication that Lawrence wouldn’t play or protection so that Rourke could be their emergency third quarterback.
Late Saturday night came multiple reports that the Jaguars will have Lawrence on the field barring a setback before the game:
Jaguars are planning for Trevor Lawrence to start Sunday vs. the Browns, but need to work out the franchise quarterback in pregame warmups before making a final decision, per sources. Lawrence will be six days removed from a high ankle sprain -- an injury that typically sidelines…— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 10, 2023
The team confirmed Lawrence would be starting today:
We also got a confirmation report that Flacco would start for Cleveland:
In here:— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 10, 2023
-- Joe Flacco expected to start for the #Browns.
-- Derek Carr will play with a rib cartilage fracture.
-- Trevor Lawrence will likely start, pending AM evaluation.
-- Drew Lock prepared to start, but Geno Smith hasn't been ruled out yet. https://t.co/TV6nv4wcck
Lawrence has never missed a game through high school, Clemson University, and now in the NFL. He wants to continue that streak, but more importantly, Jacksonville has a slim one-game lead over their division foes Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans in the AFC South Division. Currently, the Jaguars are 8-4-0 while both the Colts and Texans are 7-5-0. Red-hot Indianapolis has won their last four games.
Lawrence is officially listed as questionable against Cleveland and has gotten in some reps on Friday but has mainly rested the entire week. He is physically and mentally strong enough to overcome the odds of making this one-week comeback and has a history of playing hurt. In October, Lawrence injured his left knee in a victory over the Colts and then started five days later against the New Orleans Saints to which he tossed 29 passes and completed 20 for 204 yards, plus an additional 59 rushing yards. And in 2022, he suffered a toe injury against the Detroit Lions in the first half and then played the entire second half.
Coach Peterson acknowledged that Lawrence was a different breed:
“[That] just shows his toughness — physical toughness, mental toughness. I believe when your quarterback exudes that, I think it does send a message to the rest of your team in a good way. And I’m still optimistic, obviously for this weekend, but again, the fact that he’s willing and able to put himself out there for his teammates and his team speaks volumes.”
As early as Wednesday there were reports of Lawrence stating his ankle was feeling pretty good after only two days.
Lawrence will be backed up by QB C.J. Beathard who has been cleared to play.