Jaguars say QB Trevor Lawrence has high ankle sprain

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence suffered a right high ankle sprain against the Bengals on Monday night but escaped further damage, coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday.

Pederson said the Jaguars would evaluate Lawrence later in the week, and he wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of Lawrence playing Sunday.

"I'm not going to put that timetable on Trevor," Pederson said Tuesday afternoon. "I'm not going to put him in a box like that, but we'll see how he is in a couple of days."

Pederson said he doesn't think Lawrence would require surgery on his ankle, something that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett had earlier this week to accelerate the healing process.

"I have not had discussions with the docs about that," Pederson said. "I don't think [surgery] is a necessary means at this point. Because of where it is in the ankle, it's not necessarily something that surgery would be warranted at this time."

However, the news isn't as good on receiver Christian Kirk, who suffered a core muscle injury early in Monday's overtime loss to the Bengals that Pederson said might require surgery.

Lawrence was hurt late in the fourth quarter when left tackle Walker Little was pushed backward and stepped on Lawrence's ankle, which then appeared to get caught underneath him when he fell to the ground. Lawrence tried to get up, then went down to his knees and slammed his helmet on the ground in frustration.

Lawrence was assisted from the field by medical personnel and needed the support of a person underneath each arm while he was walking in the tunnel toward the Jaguars' locker room and X-ray area. He left the stadium in a walking boot and using crutches.

Lawrence had thrown for 258 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another score against the Bengals before his injury. He was replaced by C.J. Beathard, who completed 9 of 10 passes for 63 yards. Lawrence's 1-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter made him the first player in franchise history to have a passing and rushing touchdown in three consecutive games.

Beathard, 2-10 as a starter in his career, would start at Cleveland on Sunday if Lawrence doesn't play. Pederson said the team has not yet had discussions about bringing any other quarterbacks in for workouts this week.

Lawrence has twice before appeared to have suffered serious injuries but returned to play almost immediately. He suffered a sprained left knee late in the Jaguars' victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3, but he didn't miss a start and led the Jaguars to a victory over the New Orleans Saints four days later on a Thursday night.

He suffered a toe injury against the Detroit Lions last season but returned in the second half and played the rest of the game. He wore a protective device in his shoe and didn't miss a start after that, leading the Jaguars to five consecutive victories to win the AFC South and a wild-card round victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Lawrence has started all 46 possible games since being drafted No. 1 in 2021, which is tied for the third-longest active start streak among quarterbacks, per ESPN Stats & Information. Josh Allen (83) and Justin Herbert (61) have the two longest streaks while Lawrence is tied with Patrick Mahomes.

Kirk is the Jaguars' receiving yardage leader (787 yards) and was on pace to become just the third player in franchise history to record multiple 1,000-yard receiving seasons. His 57 catches are second on the team to tight end Evan Engram (73).

Rookie Parker Washington would take over much of Kirk's duties in the slot. He had six catches for 61 yards and a touchdown after Kirk was injured on the Jaguars' first offensive snap, but he also ran an incorrect route on the play on which Lawrence was injured.

Lawrence wanted a quick throw to Washington, who had a free release off the line of scrimmage and space around him. But Washington kept running up the field instead of cutting inside or outside and Lawrence pulled the ball down, which was when Bengals defensive end Trey Hendrickson drove Little into Lawrence.

Little also suffered a left hamstring strain in the game and his status for Sunday is in doubt, so it's possible the Jaguars could face the league's top-ranked total defense without three critical offensive starters.