Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence has yet to get in the type of offseason work that he would have liked after the team made him the top selection in the 2021 NFL Draft in late April.
He was held out of certain practices during voluntary organized team activities earlier in June. Now with the Jaguars starting mandatory minicamp, Lawrence continues to find himself limited due to a nagging hamstring injury.
“Our trainers and Schotty (passing game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer) are being a little cautious because right now when you’re a month out, you yank a hamstring now you’re going to miss the early part of the training camp,” head coach Urban Meyer told reporters on Monday. “That’s that one muscle that, you guys have all seen it like I have, you pull a hamstring at this point you’re going to miss all your summer conditioning so we’re being somewhat conservative on it. But he actually could play a game if he had to.”
Lawrence did participate in individual drills and seven-on-seven activities but was held out of the more-important 11-on-11 drills.
This is notable in that the former Clemson star had surgery earlier in the year to repair a torn labrum in his non-throwing arm. Multiple injuries before he has even taken a snap in a preseason game can’t be seen as a good thing. As for Lawrence’s mentality right now, he’s frustrated but understanding.
“It’s feeling good. It’s been about a week. Just trying to work it back to full capacity,” Lawrence said on Monday. “It’s a little frustrating just not being able to go full speed. I’m feeling good and just trying to not have any more setbacks. So taking it slow. Got some good reps today. So start getting more and more each day this week. And just kinda work back into it. It’s doing great. Try to work it back.”
To be perfectly clear, it makes sense that the Jaguars would hold their star young quarterback back at this point in the offseason. As Meyer noted, aggravating the hamstring injury would impact the start of training camp and potentially even force Lawrence off the field for the preseason. With three exhibition games, the Jags want him to get in as much work as possible.
Despite the Jaguars losing their final 15 games a season ago, Lawrence is set up to have success as a rookie. He has Meyer calling the shots on offense and a pretty darn elite group of skill-position players.
That includes young receivers DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault Jr. as well as veteran free-agent signing Marvin Jones Jr. The addition of former Clemson teammate Travis Etienne at running back to team up with an impressive James Robinson adds another layer to this.
Of course, it’s all dependent on Lawrence remaining healthy and being ready to go for the exhibition slate starting Aug. 14 against the Cleveland Browns.