The Jags need to keep an injured Trevor Lawrence on the bench

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The Jags need to keep an injured Trevor Lawrence on the bench


Trevor Lawrence’s injury is apparently not as bad as it looked on Monday night. He has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said on Tuesday that Lawrence has not yet been ruled out for Sunday.

An ankle sprain is a bad enough injury. It is extremely painful and capable of sidelining professional athletes for weeks. The dreaded high-ankle sprain can often keep players out for close to a month, if not longer. However, Patrick Mahomes’ valiant effort against Lawrence’s team during last season’s playoffs might peer pressure the Jags’ QB onto the field after a short week.

Mahomes missed one series and a kneel down when he suffered a high ankle sprain against the Jaguars in the first half of a Divisional Round matchup. His second half was not pretty and a couple of late Jags’ turnovers helped the Kansas City Chiefs sputter their way to a 27-20 victory. The Chiefs punted the ball four times in the second half.

Shout out to you, Chad Henne for the defining moment of your NFL career. He led the Chiefs on a 12-play, 98 yard drive for a touchdown in the second quarter that gave them a double digit lead. The man should get free burnt ends for the rest of his life.

When Mahomes limped into the game after halftime, it was most certainly not the dazzling, pirouetting Mahomes behind center. Air Mahomes was grounded, and it was Megabus Pat who trudged the Chiefs to victory. He was on the field again for the AFC Championship game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Freight train Lavon was able to gut out a five-yard scramble in the fourth quarter to seal a 23-20 victory and get the Chiefs to the Super Bowl.

Mahomes played very well in the big game against the Philadelphia Eagles and admitted that he still was not 100 percent. KC won, which completed one of the most heroic performances in sports history. It was basically three consecutive Michael Jordan flu games.

That effort raised the bar for what is expected from a championship quarterback. There will be a gasbag with a microphone and an audience who won’t be afraid to demand the same effort from Lawrence.

The Jaguars could really use Lawrence the next couple of weeks. Their next two games are against the two best defenses in the NFL — the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. With the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts close behind the Jags in the AFC South standings, poor C.J. Beathard will have his hands full if he has to play.

Those are also two games in which Lawrence would greatly benefit from a fully functioning right leg. If he takes the field in Cleveland with only five days between games, the rest of his body is in as much danger as his bad ankle of being damaged. The Jaguars starting left tackle — Cam Robinson — is on injured reserve for the rest of the year and backup Walker Little missed the second half of their game on Monday with a hamstring injury.

With an immobile Lawrence against the best pass rush in the NFL with a third-string left tackle protecting his blind side, Pederson better shake loose of any lingering January Mahomes memories.

He played with the heart of a warrior that day, and for the rest of the postseason, but if Jacksonville sends Lawrence on the field Sunday he will be a tackling dummy for Myles Garrett and Co. I know Jacksonville is 8-4 and in a tight playoff race, but if they’re going to drop to 8-5 anyway, the Jags might as well keep their star quarterback as healthy as possible.

Don’t get bullied onto that field by the memory of the one of the most talented quarterbacks of all time putting on a postseason performance for the ages, Trevor. Treat that high ankle sprain like it has traditionally been treated and take a seat.



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Stephen Knox