CLEVELAND (AP) — Jacksonville’s most famous ankle looked fine. Too many other things about the Jaguars were broken Sunday.
Trevor Lawrence threw three interceptions, offsetting his three touchdown passes while playing with a high right ankle sprain, and the Jaguars were doomed by several other mistakes in a 31-27 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
While showing no effects from a gruesome ankle injury Monday night — one that would have sidelined most players for a week or two or longer — Lawrence played but wasn’t as sharp as usual as the Jaguars (8-5) lost their first road game this season.
“Not one of our cleaner games,” Lawrence said. “Just too many mistakes, penalties, missed opportunities, missed throws, drops. We were so inconsistent, and it was hard to get into a rhythm. Really just shot ourselves in the foot over and over.”
Lawrence was listed as questionable coming in as the Jaguars wanted to see how he looked in pregame warmups before starting him in such a critical game. He jogged onto the field at Cleveland Browns Stadium a little after 11 a.m., went through some stretching and running, and all signs were go.
About five hours later, Lawrence walked off looking for answers for what went wrong.
Lawrence finished 28 of 50 for 257 yards, not horrible, but not what the Jaguars have come to expect from their franchise QB. Or what Lawrence expects from himself.
His first interception was an overthrow that cornerback Martin Emerson Jr. hauled in like he was the intended receiver. Lawrence had another long ball that was picked off by Greg Newsome II and Emerson got him again late in the first half as the Jaguars were driving and down just 14-7.
Lawrence said the first pick was his fault but didn’t want to discuss the other two.
“It’s on all of us,” he said. “We have to take accountability and fix it. Starts with me. Starts with my communication with all the guys. I am not concerned. This group is really mature and is willing to go whatever to win and to get better. We’ll fix it.”
Lawrence said the ankle didn’t inhibit him at all, and Lawrence is confident it won’t be a problem going forward.
“I felt pretty good, all things considered,” he said. “That was a positive out of today. I guess that’s the only one. I didn’t reinjure my ankle or tweak it or anything. I felt pretty good. It held up. I was able to move when needed. It was good.”
Along with Lawrence’s ankle escaping further damage, the Jaguars’ hopes of winning the AFC South remained untouched.
Jacksonville still leads the division by one game over Indianapolis (7-6) and Houston (7-6), which both also lost.
However, that was of little consolation to Lawrence, who didn’t want to hear about Jacksonville’s long list of injured players.
The Jaguars lost wide receiver Christian Kirk earlier in the week with a core muscle injury and were missing both starting cornerbacks. They were essentially down to their fourth left tackle as Blake Hance had to come in when Ezra Cleveland, who was playing for Walker Little, who was playing for Cam Robinson, went out.
“There’s no excuses. Nobody cares,” Lawrence said. “That’s the thing about this league. No one really cares who you are missing. There are a lot of teams who are missing players at this point in the season, but 100% miss Christian. He’s one of our best players. Makes a huge impact on this offense and this team.”
Despite their issues, the Jaguars hung around and pulled within 31-27 when Lawrence connected for a 2-yard TD pass with 1:33 left to tight end Evan Engram, who finished with 11 catches for 95 yards and two scores.
Coach Doug Pederson chose to go for 2, but Lawrence was sacked by Myles Garrett, who beat Hance.
The Jaguars’ last chance ended when Cleveland recovered an onside kick, ending a rough, two-loss week for Jacksonville.
“We all have to take accountability, look in the mirror,” Lawrence said. “We have to play together, and just do the little things. We are overlooking some of the details, and I think that’s where some of the stuff has gone wrong.”
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