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By: Adam Stites
There hasn’t been much talk of Trevor Lawrence’s knee in recent weeks. After a few days of hand-wringing prior to a Thursday night game against the New Orleans Saints, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ third-year quarterback played through the injury and that was that.
Even with a knee brace he called “not comfortable, in general” prior to the game, Lawrence ran for a career-high 59 rushing yards in the win against the Saints and added 204 passing yards and a touchdown.
After the team’s Week 9 bye, Lawrence has stopped appearing on the Jaguars’ injury reports. Yet, the brace is still on his knee.
“You’ll see it again this week,” Lawrence said Wednesday. “It’s kind of week-to-week with that, just being cautious there.”
While it sounds like nothing to worry about, it may be holding the Jaguars offense back.
“It affects mobility,” Jaguars coach Doug Pederson said. “Straight line, linear speed, all that is fine, but the stopping and starting and all of that kind of affects it. As we continue to go, he gets healthier and feels better. That’s his strength of his, is being able to throw on the run. The more he feels comfortable and strong, I think the more we can implement those in our game plans.”
In the meantime, plays that roll Lawrence out of the pocket are temporarily missing from the Jaguars offense.
Trevor Lawrence para Christian Kirk! 45 jardas para o time dos Jaguars! #NFLBrasil #NFLnaESPN pic.twitter.com/uR0dUPD9L6
— NFL Brasil (@NFLBrasil) September 17, 2023
That missing element hasn’t just removed part of what makes the Jaguars offense dangerous, it has also made Lawrence a sitting duck, more or less, behind a struggling offensive line.
The Jaguars allowed five sacks in a Week 10 blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers, tied for the most in Lawrence’s career. And both 49ers pass rusher Nick Bosa and the Tennessee Titans’ Arden Key highlighted exactly what they needed to do to get home against a Jacksonville offense without much protection or the option of moving Lawrence around.
“If we can take away his first read, the rush will be allowed to get there,” Key said in the Titans locker room Wednesday, via Kayla Anderson of 104-5 The Zone. “If the first read’s there, he’s throwing it right there, right now. If it’s not, you see the kind of hesitation, things of that sort so we know and realize that we’ve got to take away the first read so we get to him.”
Jacksonville will hope to prove that wrong and find success anyway against the Titans, who are 3-6 after back-to-back losses. But until Lawrence’s knee is healthy enough that Jaguars coaches are comfortable moving him around, the offense won’t quite be firing on all cylinders.
Originally posted on Jaguars Wire