Don’t blame the Jacksonville Jaguars’ medical staff for quarterback Trevor Lawrence walking all the way to the locker room on a high-ankle sprain.
It was Lawrence himself who made the call to do so.
Lawrence suffered a right high-ankle sprain in the fourth quarter of Monday’s night loss to the Cincinnati Bengals after left tackle Walker Little stepped on him during a pass play. The No. 1 overall pick slammed his fists and helmet into the ground, knowing the injury was severe enough to take him out of the game and possibly keep him sidelined for weeks to come.
But when it was time to get off the field, a medical cart was nowhere to be found. Instead, Lawrence, with the assistance of two trainers, slowly walked off the field.
Then, the ESPN broadcast caught Lawrence walking to the locker room when he entered the tunnel at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, which left some fans confused and enraged.
Lawrence, though, backed his medical staff on Wednesday when talking to reporters, while shouldering the blame for walking off the field.
“We talked about getting a cart, and I was going to get a cart,” Lawrence explained. “Then I’m standing there, and I’m already on the sideline at that point. The tunnel’s right there. I just wanted to get off the field and get out of there. I didn’t know what was going on with my ankle. I felt like I could get off. I was like, ‘Hey, you’re good. Just don’t bring it out. I’m going in.’”
Lawrence admitted some regret when he realized how long the walk was to the locker room after getting off the field.
“Once I got in there I’m like, ‘This is a pretty long walk.’ I was already there, and they asked again if I wanted a cart. I was like, ‘No, we’re gonna make it the whole way there.’ I didn’t know there was cameras in the tunnel,” Lawrence said.
The Jaguars, who lead the AFC South at 8-4 despite the loss, were hoping their franchise quarterback wouldn’t be out an extended period of time after test results showed the damage. And they were happy to see that no structural damage was done to the ankle.
The high-ankle sprain is still expected to be a multi-week absence for Lawrence, but he’s expected to return this season.
Until then, his backup, C.J. Beathard, will be tasked with keeping the Jaguars on a trajectory toward the playoffs.
As a starter, Beathard is 2-10 for his career, all of which came with the San Francisco 49ers. He has not made a start since Week 17 of the 2020 season.