Trevor Lawrence back at practice, must clear concussion protocol


(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence was back on the practice field Friday but still must clear the NFL’s concussion protocol to play in Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Coach Doug Pederson said Friday morning that if Lawrence does not clear the protocol by the time the team leaves for Tampa on Saturday, he won’t make the trip and backup quarterback C.J. Beathard would make his first start since the final regular-season game in 2020 with San Francisco.

“We’ll give him as much as we can, as much as he can tolerate [at practice],” Pederson said.

Pederson also said that he thinks the chances of Lawrence clearing protocol and playing is better than a coin flip but that it will depend on how well Lawrence comes through Friday’s workout.

“Most guys, if you don’t clear, usually by Friday, then you can’t risk putting a guy on the field this close to game time. That’s any player, so just take the position out of it. But he is trending in the right direction, and then hopefully things go well today.”

If Lawrence doesn’t play, it will be the first game he has missed since he was drafted first overall in 2021. He has started 48 consecutive games, which is tied with Patrick Mahomes for the second-longest active streak among quarterbacks. Josh Allen has started 85 consecutive games.

Pederson said Lawrence suffered the concussion on a scramble up the middle with five minutes remaining in the Jaguars’ 23-7 loss to Baltimore on Sunday. Lawrence did not leave the game but completed only one of his seven pass attempts after that play. Pederson said Lawrence self-reported symptoms after the game and was placed in the concussion protocol.

Lawrence did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. He has completed 65.9% of his passes for 3,525 yards and 18 touchdowns with 10 interceptions this season.

This the third injury for Lawrence in 2023. He sprained his left knee late in the Jaguars’ victory over Indianapolis in Week 6, 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 high ankle sprain against Cincinnati on Dec. 4 but started the next week in Cleveland.

Beathard is 2-10 as a starter in his career, with all the starts coming with the 49ers. He has played in eight games in two-plus seasons with the Jaguars as Lawrence’s backup.

“I think it helps just knowing the last several times I’ve been out there [as a starter] it did go well,” Beathard said earlier this week. “It was kind of crazy to think that was back in 2020, so it’s still three years ago. It doesn’t feel like that was three years ago. I’ve learned a lot over the three years since then, and it’s helped me. Hopefully, I’d like to think I’ve gained a lot of experience from the sidelines and practice and everything, even since then.”

Beathard most recently played against Cincinnati on Dec. 4, completing 9 of 10 passes for 90 yards after entering the game following Lawrence’s fourth-quarter ankle injury.

In Beathard’s 12 starts, he has completed 58.7% of his passes for 2,892 yards and 15 touchdowns with 12 interceptions and been sacked 41 times. In his career, he has completed 59.5% of his passes for 3,614 yards and 18 touchdowns with 14 interceptions and been sacked 49 times.


Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.