The Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off a disappointing overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football. Now, they’ll have the chance to rebound versus a floundering Cleveland Browns team.
The Browns have taken a step back since quarterback Deshaun Watson suffered a season-ending injury. And backups Joe Flacco and Dorian Thompson-Robinson haven’t been enough to keep Cleveland on a winning track.
While the Jaguars’ loss to the Bengals didn’t uproot their season, starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence’s injury threatened to do so. Jacksonville will need to prepare for the possibility that Lawrence will miss a game for the first time of his career.
Here are five Jaguars players to watch when they take on the Browns in Week 14:
QBs C.J. Beathard/Trevor Lawrence
Lawrence hasn’t officially been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Browns, but he’s facing an uphill battle to get healthy in time. He was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain, which often takes weeks to heal.
Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson was hesitant to declare Lawrence out for this week, but he said the team has confidence in backup C.J. Beathard to fill in if needed. Whether an injured Lawrence or Beathard is on the field, the quarterback position is a position to keep an eye on against a strong Cleveland Browns defense.
Beathard completed nine of his 10 pass attempts Monday night for 63 yards. He was sacked twice and ran the ball once for seven yards. His last start came during the 2020 season when he was a member of the San Francisco 49ers.
WR Parker Washington
Jacksonville’s loss against the Bengals can also be remembered as the Parker Washington game. The rookie wide receiver hadn’t caught a ball all season long, but his introduction to the NFL came Monday.
Wide receiver Christian Kirk went down with a core muscle injury on the team’s first offensive play, and Washington slotted in well in his place. The sixth-round pick finished the game with six catches for 61 yards and an impressive touchdown.
It’d be unfair to expect Washington to match Kirk’s production, but Washington showed the ability to be a productive player Monday. If he can fill even half of Kirk’s contributions, the Jaguars’ offense will have a capable third option.
OT Anton Harrison
Jaguars offensive tackle Anton Harrison was on the wrong end of the costliest call of the night against the Bengals. He committed a holding penalty that nullified a 43-yard catch by Calvin Ridley that would have put the Jags at the 2-yard line in overtime.
Harrison had a decent game otherwise, but the call took away the biggest play of the game, giving Cincinnati the chance to win the game. He’ll get no breaks in Week 14 either.
The rookie will face a defensive line consisting of Myles Garrett and Za’Darius Smith. Smith hasn’t been dominant this year, and Garrett is working through injuries, but the two are tremendous pass rushers, regardless.
CB Tyson Campbell
Cornerback Tyson Campbell had a rough night against the Cincinnati pass catchers. After all was said and done, he was the lowest-graded player for the Jaguars on PFF.
Campbell gave up five catches for 135 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown by Ja’Marr Chase. While the Bengals may have the best wide receiver group in the league, the Browns have some decent talent themselves.
Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore and rookie Cedric Tillman have been solid. The question is whether Flacco will be able to take advantage or if Campbell will be able to get right in Cleveland.
OLB Josh Allen
Jaguars edge rusher Josh Allen had yet another productive day Monday. Allen had seven total tackles, 1.5 sacks, two quarterback hits, a tackle for loss, and a timely interception.
Allen will now face a tackle tandem that will give him the chance to have another impactful week. Geron Christian hasn’t been great and rookie Dawand Jones is still working through first-year hiccups.
If the experienced Allen can keep his productive season going it could help get the defense back on track and set up the Jaguars offense for success.