DETROIT, Mich. – His words mixed disappointment, embarrassment and relief.
The relief mattered a lot for Trevor Lawrence late Sunday afternoon, with Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson calling the second-year quarterback "very fortunate" to avoid serious injury late in the first half of 40-14 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
"I feel better than I thought I would," Lawrence said.
Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, was hit hard by Lions linebacker James Houston on the final play of the first half Sunday. Lawrence lay on the field for an extended time, then returned to the Jaguars' sideline during a Lions touchdown drive to start the second half.
"He was obviously fine to play in the game and we'll make sure he's good moving forward," Pederson said.
Lawrence, who led the Jaguars' lone touchdown drive on their first possession after the injury, said he first believed he had injured his knee before feeling pain in his foot.
"Luckily, nothing serious," Lawrence said. "We'll have to see how I feel tomorrow. I'm going to be a little sore but thankful it's not anything serious."
Lawrence said his extended time in the locker room at halftime and after the half was because doctors and trainers were "just checking everything to make sure I don't have a serious injury, not going to get myself hurt worse by going out there.
"My team did a good job just checking everything, not rushing me out there," he said. "I wanted to get out there and play, but they had the ball first, so we had some time. We took our time and checked everything out and everything was good, so nothing serious."
Lawrence completed 17 of 31 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions Sunday. The Jaguars fell behind 14-3 in the first quarter and never got closer than 16 after the Lions took a 30-6 lead on their first possession of the second half.
"We just got our asses kicked," Lawrence said. "It's embarrassing, honestly, what we put out there in such a big game for us. That's the word to describe it; it's embarrassing. Everybody in that locker room feels that way, too. This is a playoff game for us, and we go out there and laid down."
- Jaguars receivers dropped multiple passes Sunday, with wide receiver Zay Jones dropping at least two – including one on third-and-three from the Lions 13 on the Jaguars' first drive with the Lions leading 7-0. "I take responsibility," Jones said. "I was not at my best today. I was battling through some injuries, and it was a very underwhelming performance. I take responsibility for my lack of play. It did not help our team. It's not like myself to take my eye off the ball like that. It hurts me a lot because I want to put this team in the best position. I can't speak for the other guys, but as far as Zay Jones and the man that he is, it wasn't good enough today at all."
- Lawrence: "It's a game of momentum, and I think we lost it early. I just didn't really feel like we ever gained the momentum back. It's huge in this game. You've got to be able to play without it to get yourself back in the game, but at the same time, you've got to make some plays, you've got to have some sparks, and we just didn't do that today."
- Jaguars defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot: "There's no pointing fingers. We're all a team. We lost as a team, and we win as a team."
- Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen: "It's onto the next one. That's embarrassing. We gotta get it. We can go. It's disappointing, especially on the defensive side. We just couldn't get off the field. I just think we just plays that we were in, weren't good for the plays that they were in. We didn't come out with any energy. What has to change to come out with more energy? I don't know. We just gotta go. I know this locker room's not going to change because of this. We're a tight-knit group, but we just gotta go."
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Detroit Lions game in photos💥. 👀 Check out the custom cleats players and coaches are wearing in honor of My Cause My Cleats.