JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Scott from Jax in DE
Sixteen going with the Ace Bandage and open-toed sandals during his presser, O-Man?? No boot? No brace? That feeling that all is lost has suddenly left the building. Or at least has been eased. Hallelujah.
The vibe around Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence indeed has changed dramatically in a few days. All – or at least a lot – indeed seemed lost when he limped to the locker room after sustaining a high-ankle sprain late in an overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at EverBank Stadium Monday. When Lawrence spoke to the media Wednesday after walking to the podium sans limp – and sans boot – the mood indeed lightened. Lawrence threw and moved effectively early in practice Thursday, which did nothing to slow the growing idea that he might play against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, Sunday. This is an unreal and unexpected development. But it indeed is a significant development. My guess is we won't know for sure on this until shortly before Sunday's game. It still feels very uncertain from this view, but it's remarkable at this point that there is even a chance he could play six days after such an injury. Credit to Lawrence. He's tough. Stay tuned.
Jeremy from Gilbert, AZ
It's super neat that the Jags typically respond well to adversity during Head Coach Doug Pederson's tenure. But how about they learn to show up and stop laying eggs? The offense and defense have both done it at various times throughout the season. If you play to your potential, then you don't have to "bounce back" and respond to self-inflicted adversity.
It's more than "super neat" to respond to adversity in the NFL. It's the mark of a tough team with playoff potential. The Jaguars have four losses this season. The team with the best record, the Philadelphia Eagles, has two losses. The point? Teams lose in the NFL. If you're going to be good, you better be able to respond to adversity. But yes … the Jaguars must play better against the best teams. That indeed feels like their next step.
Sean from Oakleaf, FL
I believe Jaguars backup C.J. Beathard is a better quarterback than his 2-10 starting record would indicate. Many of those losses occurred five and six years ago, which is a long time in the NFL, and on a fairly bad San Francisco 49ers team that combined for 10 wins in those two years.
Good point. And one fer Beathard.
Chevin from Jacksonville
With nearly a third of starting quarterbacks on either short-term injured reserve or out for the year, do you think the NFL has a problem? Do you anticipate significant ramifications during the next Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations with regards to organized team activities and practice time?
It sucks for quarterbacks to get hurt. It has happened a lot this season. It's also football. Football is a violent sport and I'm not sure how much more can be done to legislate violence against quarterbacks out of the game.
Riding the Crazy Train from Jax
Do the Jaguars have a third-string quarterback on their roster? If so, why didn't he suit up after Trevor's injury? What would have happened if the backup quarterback got injured in the game? Would the Jags have been forced to run the wildcat for the rest of the game?
The Jaguars have two quarterbacks on the active roster, Lawrence and Beathard. Rookie Nathan Rourke is on the Jaguars' practice squad. There are two ways Rourke could be available. One is being signed to the active roster. The other is being elevated to the active roster via "standard practice squad elevation." If he is signed to the active roster, he can be designated as the "third-team" emergency quarterback and therefore not take a game-day roster spot away from another player. If he is activated via "standard practice squad elevation, he takes a roster spot away from another player. The Jaguars signed Rourke to the active roster when Lawrence's status was uncertain entering a Week 7 victory over the New Orleans Saints and I would expect them to do the same this week. Rourke didn't suit up after Lawrence was injured Monday because he not active for that game. If Beathard had been injured, punter Logan Cooke likely would have played quarterback. He has a very good arm for a punter. I don't know how much – if any – "wildcat formation" the Jaguars would have used in that scenario. I dig deep on this team. I haven't dug that deep.
Rob from Jax
O, with Lawrence going down, and it appeared C.J. was banged up a bit, would the QB3 have been available Monday night with that new rule I don't quite understand? And if he was not, do you know who the emergency quarterback would be in that situation? Just curious. Thanks, Zone.
Rourke would not have been available Monday had Beathard been unable to play. This is because he was not on the active roster. Cooke is the Jaguars' emergency quarterback.
Sal from Austin, TX
Every time I see outside linebacker Travon Walker dropping into coverage I just sit there in disbelief. The guy's a beast who should have his hand in the ground setting the edge and rushing the quarterback – and that's it. They have the horses on the defensive line for a stellar four-three scheme, and it would free up linebacker Devin Lloyd to play downhill and put linebacker Foye Oluokun at his natural position in the middle of the defense.
Walker is good in coverage. He is perhaps not as good at this as he is setting the edge and being disruptive at the line, but he is good in coverage. The Jaguars play a 3-4 scheme. Outside linebackers occasionally drop in coverage in a 3-4 scheme. I don't expect that to change any time soon.
Julio from Southern California
O, four losses all at home. The team looks a step slow at home. I know this is a stretch, but could it be the field? The Florida swamp? At times it looks like they are running in mud. Thoughts?
The Jaguars won their last five games – including postseason – at home in 2022.
Jim from Jax
What is with the obsession that many fans have with putting Nathan Rourke in? He played well in the preseason. So what? That doesn't mean he's better than Beathard.
Players who play well in preseason, particularly quarterbacks, often become very popular with fans. There often is a substantial difference between preseason performance against bottom-of-the-roster players and that player's readiness for regular-season play. But players who play well in preseason, particularly quarterbacks, nonetheless often become very popular with fans.
Don from Marshall, NC
What ever happened to the good old days when you could blame everything on the kickers? Now if you go screaming at the Jaguars kickers, you're going to be getting up to do it again! We have some pretty big bad kickers not your typical ballerina type. Go Jaguars!
The up-and-down – and sometimes maddening – nature of an NFL season appears to be taking its toll on Don, who nonetheless remains "all in."
Mike from Rochester, NY
Is there any reason why wide receiver Christian Kirk has not been placed on injured reserve? I have read his type of injury takes six-to-eight weeks to heal. Is there still a chance he plays before the regular season ends?
The Jaguars haven't played Kirk on injured reserve yet because there's no rush to do so. I don't expect him to play before the end of the regular season and I expect he will be placed on injured reserve in the coming days.
Brian from Round Rock, Texas
Pederson continues to misread the pulse of the team and has them not in the right mindset to play big games. He seems to always downplay these games based on his interviews during the week. He needs to get these guys ready for a fight every week. You don't do that by downplaying the game. Why doesn't he learn? Do we need another big loss in a big game due to not being ready to play? Will he learn then? Not impressed.
The Jaguars have won 16 of their last 23 games. You win consistently in the National Football League by taking a consistent week-to-week approach, then getting good enough with that week-to-week approach to win consistently. Coaches that try to get their team "up" every week – or even for big games – often have inconsistent teams that have an upset or two, then find themselves on the wrong end of upsets. Either way, I'm just not big in the "not-being-ready" to play theory. The defense had a bad game Monday. The offense had a pretty damned good game. Did Pederson motivate one side of the ball and not the other?
Bob from Sumter, SC
I think Jerrell changed his name and moved to Round Rock, TX