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May 27, 2024

Jaguars Star QB Trevor Lawrence to Miss First Career Game with Shoulder Injury

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Dec 30, 2023

Trevor Lawrence, star quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, has been ruled out for the team’s Week 17 game against the Carolina Panthers due to a right shoulder injury. This will be the first game Lawrence has missed in his two-year NFL career.

Lead Up to the Injury

Lawrence suffered the injury during the Jaguars’ loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 14. He was taken out of the game after being sacked and landing hard on his right shoulder. Initial tests showed no serious damage and Lawrence returned to start the next two games against the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets.

However, Lawrence was clearly still feeling the effects of the injury over those games. His performance suffered and he was placed into concussion protocol after taking a hit against the Cowboys. Lawrence cleared protocol ahead of the Jets game but had his worst statistical outing of the season, throwing for only 105 yards in a 19-3 loss.

The Jaguars had held out hope that the extra rest before Week 17 would allow Lawrence’s shoulder to heal. But after he was unable to practice most of this week, the team decided it was safer to have him sit this game out.

Impact on Jaguars’ Playoff Hopes

AFC South Standings W L
Jacksonville Jaguars 8 8
Tennessee Titans 7 9
Indianapolis Colts 4 11-1
Houston Texans 2 13-1

At 8-8, the Jaguars are still in position to win the mediocre AFC South and make the playoffs. However, missing their best player and leader against Carolina deals a big blow to those chances. Backup CJ Beathard will start in Lawrence’s place. Beathard has attempted just 10 passes since 2020 and the offense is likely to struggle without Lawrence guiding it.

The Titans are right behind the Jaguars at 7-9. If Tennessee beats the Cowboys this week and Jacksonville falls to the Panthers, the division title will come down to Week 18 with the Titans hosting the Jaguars.

What This Means for Lawrence and Jaguars Moving Forward

The Jaguars say Lawrence’s injury is a right shoulder sprain and his status is considered week-to-week. Even if he can’t go against the Panthers, the team hopes Lawrence can return next week if the game vs the Titans ends up having playoff implications.

After this injury, though, Jacksonville will be more cautious bringing Lawrence back. He clearly wasn’t fully healthy the last few weeks and his long-term durability is more important than rushing him back this season.

The Jaguars have been thrilled with Lawrence’s development in his second year. He has thrown for 25 touchdowns compared to only 8 interceptions while showing poised leadership. Even with the recent struggles, Lawrence gives Jacksonville its best chance to contend for a playoff spot.

But this shoulder issue is a concern going forward. Lawrence now has a history of right shoulder injuries dating back to his college career at Clemson. The Jaguars training staff needs to focus on strengthening that shoulder in the offseason so minor sprains don’t continue hampering Lawrence.

If he can get fully healthy, Lawrence is the franchise quarterback Jacksonville hoped for when drafting him 1st overall in 2021. The goals for next season will be loftier with Lawrence leading the way. But his health, particularly the fragility of his throwing shoulder, bears close watching as the Jaguars aim to take the next step.

What the Experts Are Saying

“You just hate it for him…Trevor has made a lot of improvement from Year 1 to Year 2. He was really starting to play good football. But hey, this is part of the game. Injuries happen.”

  • Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson on Lawrence missing the first start of his NFL career

“The most important thing for Trevor’s long term career is making sure that shoulder is 100 percent before they put him back out there…It’s smart to rest him now rather than risk serious injury.”

  • Former NFL QB Robert Griffin III analyzing the cautious approach Jacksonville is taking with their franchise quarterback

The Jaguars face a potential must-win game against Carolina without the centerpiece of their rebuilding efforts. All eyes will be on backup QB CJ Beathard and if the Jaguars can keep their slim playoff hopes alive with Lawrence sidelined. His Week 17 absence due to more shoulder issues raises some red flags about Lawrence’s durability that Jacksonville will need to address this offseason.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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