JACKSONVILLE – Trevor Lawrence is confident he will play on Sunday.
Lawrence, who has never missed a start in two seasons as the Jaguars’ quarterback, said on Wednesday he expected to play Sunday despite a toe injury that kept him out of Wednesday practice.
“That’s the plan,” Lawrence said on Wednesday as the Jaguars (4-8) prepared to play the southern-leading AFC Tennessee Titans (7-5) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
“All I can do is just take it day by day. If I can, I’ll be there.”
Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said late Wednesday morning that Lawrence would be “overnight” this week with a sprained toe. Pederson said Lawrence can play on Sunday even if he doesn’t practice.
“I believe so,” said Pederson. “I think at some point this week he’ll probably see the training ground. We have time. I want to make sure he is comfortable and physically ready to play.”
Pederson added: “He receives treatment every day and is progressing in the right direction.”
Lawrence suffered the injury in the final game of the first-half loss to the Detroit Lions last Sunday. On Wednesday, he repeated what he said after Sunday’s game – that he initially feared the injury was more serious and affected the knee.
“The way my left was caught scared the hell out of me when I was there,” said Lawrence. “Fortunately, it’s nothing serious. Really, really happy.”
Lawrence was in training on Wednesday, participating mostly in mental reps.
“It’s mostly about watching looks, calling plays, going through footwork, all my checks,” said Lawrence. “I’m going to completely stay in it mentally. You can get a lot of work done this way. As long as I’m feeling good enough to run and cut and do what I have to do to play and put us in a good position, I’d be comfortable being there.”
Said Pederson: “He will get all the mental reps. Will study the tape. He will be prepared that way.”
CJ Beathard, a fifth-year veteran with 12 career NFL starts – all with the San Francisco 49ers – will start if Lawrence is unable to play. He spent the last two seasons with the Jaguars, throwing for 39 yards in four defensive appearances for Lawrence, who started 29 straight games to kick off his NFL career.
“I have a high level of confidence in him,” Pederson said of Beathard, who has 3,508 passing yards with 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 23 career NFL games. “He’s a veteran. He’s been in situations like this before in his career. This is no foreign territory to him.
“He’s well versed in attack. We have great confidence in him.”
Lawrence said he has made steady progress in recent days and has been keeping his foot lifted since Sunday, resting as much as possible. He has worn a “protective” boot since the injury to keep his foot immobilized and was wearing normal football boots when speaking to the media on Wednesday.
“I feel better today than Monday and [Tuesday],” he said. “A little soreness is decreasing a little. Of course I’m still sore and I sort of take it overnight. Fortunately, for sure. I feel quite well.”
Lawrence, the #1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, completed 273 of 416 passing yards for 2,834 yards and 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. He threw seven touchdowns with no interceptions in his last four games.
“Obviously when it’s a quarterback – with any player – there’s a certain level of anxiety,” Pederson said. “We still have a few days until the game. He is tough and will do everything in his power to try to be there. We’ll just take it day by day.”