JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence said that his left knee has improved rapidly over the past two days and that he’s optimistic he’ll be able to play in Thursday night’s game at New Orleans.
“I’m going to do everything I can to be out there,” Lawrence said Tuesday afternoon. “I feel a lot better today than I would’ve thought. So I like how I’m progressing, and I’m going to do everything I can to be out there on Thursday.
“It’s progressed really well through the past 24, 48 hours. So, really like where it’s at.”
Lawrence wore a brace on his left leg during Tuesday practice and was listed as a limited participant. He did some work in individual drills during the open media portion of the workout. Backup quarterback C.J. Beathard said he took the majority of the first-team reps.
Beathard, who hasn’t started a game since the final two weeks of the 2020 season, when he was with San Francisco, said he wouldn’t rule out Lawrence recovering enough to avoid the first missed game of his three-year NFL career.
“He’s as tough as they come, and I know he’s doing anything and everything he can to be ready to play,” Beathard said. “That’s still very likely that he plays this week.”
Lawrence was hurt on a third-and-7 play from the Indianapolis 16-yard line with 3:10 remaining in the Jaguars’ 37-20 victory at EverBank Stadium on Sunday. He faked a pitch to the right to Travis Etienne Jr., rolled left and was chased down by Colts defensive end Samson Ebukam at the 33-yard line.
Lawrence immediately grabbed his left knee and stayed down for a moment. He walked off the field and went to the bench, but then stood up and walked around after several minutes. He remained on the sideline for the rest of the game.
Results of an MRI on Monday revealed a sprain that was not expected to be serious, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, but the Jaguars likely will wait until Thursday to decide whether Lawrence will play at the Caesars Superdome, a decision that could be affected by the fact that it’ll be on artificial turf.
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence says he takes a lot of pride in not missing a game in his career. Left knee feels better, he said. pic.twitter.com/AO1j753vE2
— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) October 17, 2023
“That’s where you just kind of trust your training staff,” offensive coordinator Press Taylor said. “So as long as Trevor’s in a position where he can’t injure himself, or as long as he gives us the best chance to win the game and without risking himself … then that’s what we continue to do. And again, that’s just conversation with everybody involved in the process.”
Lawrence said that wearing a brace on his knee for the first time was an adjustment and that he wasn’t sure whether he would wear a brace if he does play. If he plays, he won’t limit himself because of the injury.
“Whether you decide to play or not, you’ve got to feel comfortable with what you’re doing and confident, you’ve got to go play [like normal] because you can’t play this game hesitating at all,” he said. “That’s a question that obviously everyone asks themselves when you’re dealing with anything.”
Lawrence, who has completed 67.1% of his passes for 1,439 yards and seven touchdowns with three interceptions, missed only two games in his college career at Clemson, both in 2020, because of a neck injury and COVID-19.
Beathard has a 2-10 record as a starter. He signed with the Jaguars in March 2021 and has appeared in eight games, completing 11 of 15 passes for 77 yards with one interception.