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Jaguars waiting on Trevor Lawrence, put Christian Kirk on IR

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jaguars coach Doug Pederson says the team will wait until Sunday before deciding whether injured quarterback Trevor Lawrence will start against the Browns.

Lawrence suffered a right high ankle sprain in Monday night’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, but he practiced on a limited basis Thursday and was going to do the same Friday. He will be listed as questionable when the status report is released Friday afternoon.

“He’s feeling good,” Pederson said. “He moved around a little bit [Thursday], see how he does today. Kind of base it on the medical staff, how Trevor feels.”

The Jaguars on Friday also placed wide receiver Christian Kirk on injured reserve because of the groin injury he suffered against the Bengals. Kirk is the Jaguars’ leader in receiving yards (787) and second in receptions (57). He will have to miss four games before he is eligible to return from IR.

Lawrence said Wednesday that his ankle feels much better than he anticipated, just two days after left tackle Walker Little stepped on his foot before it was caught underneath him when he fell.

There is precedent to returning one week after suffering a high ankle sprain. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes started the AFC Championship Game against the Bengals in January eight days after he was injured against the Jaguars in a divisional playoff game. Mahomes went 29-for-43 for 326 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in the Chiefs’ 23-20 victory.

It’s a bit of a different situation for Lawrence, because the Jaguars won’t have Kirk and likely won’t have Little, who is out with a hamstring injury.

If Lawrence can play, it will be the third time he has returned from an injury that initially appeared to be more serious. He suffered a toe injury late in the first half of a game in Detroit last season but returned in the second half and didn’t miss a start the rest of the season. He suffered a sprained left knee in a Week 6 victory over the Indianapolis Colts but played four days later against the New Orleans Saints and led all players in rushing.

“[That] just shows his toughness — physical toughness, mental toughness,” Pederson said. “I believe when your quarterback exudes that, I think it does send a message to the rest of your team in a good way. And I’m still optimistic, obviously for this weekend, but again, the fact that he’s willing and able to put himself out there for his teammates and his team speaks volumes.”

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