JACKSONVILLE – Sunday was a good, memorable day for the Jaguars.
The next day brought good news for one of their most high-profile – and productive – players.
Running back Travis Etienne Jr., who missed the second half of one of the Jaguars' most dramatic victories in recent memory Sunday with a foot injury, is currently expected to be fine and to play moving forward.
"He's going to be OK," Head Coach Doug Pederson said Monday, a day after the Jaguars rallied twice in the fourth quarter for a 28-27 victory over the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens at TIAA Bank Field.
Pederson added of Etienne, "Barring anything crazy I think he'll be fine and be ready to go."
Etienne, the Jaguars' leading rusher, sustained what Pederson on Monday called a sprained foot in the second quarter Sunday after rushing for three yards on two carries. He left the field and returned in uniform. While he was not officially ruled out, he did not play after the injury.
Etienne, the No. 25 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, missed his rookie season with a Lisfranc injury in his left foot. While that was the foot Etienne injured Sunday, Pederson said the injury "was totally different" than a Lisfranc.
"He just got rolled up on his surgically repaired foot," Pederson said, calling the decision to not play Etienne after the injury "caution and precaution."
Pederson said Etienne had treatment Monday and was not in a protective boot.
"We just wanted to make sure he will be 100 percent moving forward," Pederson said of Etienne, who has rushed for 728 yards and four touchdowns on 133 carries this season. "It was more precautionary in that game than anything else. It's more, too, sometimes peace of mind with players coming off a repair like that. It just rests their mind a little bit that everything's going to be OK moving forward.
"Once he came back out, it was a matter of having conversations with him. You think about putting him back in, but at that time we knew it was probably not the best thing for the player and his health. We just made the decision to keep him out of the game."
The Jaguars on Sunday rallied from deficits of 19-10 and 27-20 to win for the second in three games with quarterback Trevor Lawrence throwing three touchdown passes – the last being a 10-yarder to wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. with :14 remaining.
Lawrence, who followed the touchdown a two-point pass to wide receiver Zay Jones, completed 29 of 37 passes for 321 yards with no interceptions for a passer rating of 129.8. It was his third consecutive game with a rating of more than 100 and his sixth such game this season.
"He played well," Pederson said of Lawrence. "He played tough. He played smart. He took care of the football, other than one strip sack there toward the end. I thought he played really well. He made some really big throws. He took a step in the right direction.
"It's great for his confidence. A win like that and the way we won can just build more confidence within the team."
The Jaguars (4-7) remain in third place in the AFC South behind the Tennessee Titans (7-4) and Indianapolis Colts (4-6-1), and ahead of the Houston Texans (1-9-1). They have two games remaining against the Titans and will play the Detroit Lions (4-7) at Ford Field in Detroit Sunday.
"Everybody in our division is chasing Tennessee," Pederson said. "It's a good football team. We know what's ahead of us. We have some really good teams on our schedule that are all playoff-caliber teams. In order for us to be there at the end, we have to continue to prepare the way we've done that.
"This is the next one, Detroit this week. We'll worry about Tennessee the next week and move on from there. It's all part of that plan."
- Pederson on Monday praised rookie inside linebacker Chad Muma following his first NFL start. Muma, a third-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, registered nine tackles alongside veteran Foye Oluokun – who registered a team-high 19 tackles. Muma on Sunday started in place of Devin Lloyd, a 2022 first-round selection who played a season-low 27 snaps Sunday after starting the first 10 games. "Chad did well," Pederson said. "I didn't think the game was too big for him. He really settled in. You could see the communication – getting lined up, all of that." Lloyd played when the Jaguars employed three inside linebackers against Lamar Jackson, the Ravens' quarterback and the NFL's leading rusher among quarterbacks. "Devin was good, Devin was fine," Pederson said, calling Sunday's approach "something we can continue to build upon with both those players."
How about them Jags! Swipe through to view top celebratory photos after a Jaguars Week 12 win against the Baltimore Ravens at TIAA Bank Field.