Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence Hurt Again, Playoffs in Jeopardy

Posted on: December 27, 2023, 10:26h. 

Last updated on: December 27, 2023, 12:33h.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have lost four games in a row, quarterback Trevor Lawrence is nursing a shoulder injury, and the Jags are on the verge of missing the playoffs.

Trevor Lawrence Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, seen here being gang-tackled by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, exited Week 16 with a shoulder injury. (Image: Getty)

Lawrence sprained the AC joint on his right shoulder. He’s undergoing additional testing to determine the severity of the injury, which will determine his playing status for Week 17 and beyond.

The Jaguars (8-7) are currently in first place in the AFC South. They have the same record as the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts, with two games remaining, but hold tiebreakers over both divisional rivals.

If the season ended today, the Jaguars would clinch the division title and earn the #4 seed in the AFC playoffs.

The Colts occupy the #7 seed and would qualify for the postseason as an AFC wild-card team.

The Texans are on the playoff bubble, along with the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7) and Cincinnati Bengals (8-7).

Tough-Guy Lawrence Deals with Another Injury

Lawrence has never missed a start during his three seasons in the NFL. The #1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft out of Clemson started all 17 games as a rookie and started 17 games last season. In 2023, he started 15 games, despite multiple injuries.

Lawrence sprained his left knee during a victory against the Colts in Week 6. Although he was listed as questionable on Week 7’s injury report, Lawrence started on Thursday Night Football. He led the Jaguars to a 31-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints. The sprained knee slowed him down for a couple of games, but he played through the pain.

Lawrence suffered a high ankle sprain in an overtime loss against the Bengals in Week 13. Similar injuries take four weeks to heal, but Lawrence suited up for the next game.

Lawrence sustained a head injury in a Week 17 loss against the Baltimore Ravens, and he exited with a concussion. Backup quarterback C.J. Beathard came off the bench to finish the game.

Lawrence cleared concussion protocol in time to play against the Bucs on Christmas Eve. But he hurt his shoulder in the third quarter. Beathard finished the game, which the Jaguars lost 30-12.

It’s bothering me,” said Lawrence on Sunday. “Hopefully nothing major but, yeah, it’s bugging me right now.”

Lawrence is tied with Patrick Mahomes for the second-longest active streak among quarterbacks, with 49 consecutive starts. Josh Allen from the Buffalo Bills has started 86 consecutive games and holds the longest starting streak in the NFL among quarterbacks.

If Lawrence does not play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, then Beathard will get his first start since 2020.

Three-Way Race in AFC South

DraftKings installed the Jaguars are the betting favorite to win the AFC South at -165 odds. The Colts are +350 odds, and Texans are +400 odds to win the division.

According to a postseason projection by Upshot, the Jaguars have a 60% chance to win the division. The Colts have a 24% chance to win the AFC South, and the Texans have a 15% chance.

The Jaguars have a 74% chance to make the playoffs, so even if they fail to clinch the division crown, they could still backdoor a playoff berth through the wild card.

The Jaguars host the Panthers on New Year’s Eve for the final home game of the season. Even with Lawrence’s injury, the Jaguars are a -6.5 favorite. The Jaguars play the Tennessee Titans in Nashville in the final game of the season. They defeated the Titans, 34-14, in Week 11.

The Colts play two more home games at Lucas Oil Stadium to end the season. They host the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, and square off against the Texans in the final game of the season.

The Texans host the Titans on Sunday and then head to Indianapolis to play the Colts in Week 18. Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud missed two games with a concussion, and he has yet to clear concussion protocol for Week 17. Backup Case Keenum started for the Texans during the last two games.

The Jaguars are +1700 odds to win the AFC Championship, and they’re the sixth-highest team on DraftKings’ NFL futures board.

The Jaguars are now +3500 odds to win Super Bowl LVIII, and their odds slipped during their recent losing streak. At the end of Week 12, the Jaguars were as low as +1200 odds to win the Super Bowl.