Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence not only played through a knee injury that caused him to be questionable entering Thursday night's contest against the New Orleans Saints -- he thrived.
Lawrence posted a career-best 59 yards rushing on eight carries, including a few chunk gains, in the 31-24 victory at the Caesars Superdome.
"I mean, golly, it is crazy how you have something like that going on and you do not plan on moving a lot and you end up running the ball more than I usually do," Lawrence said. "So, it's just funny how that works. But it felt pretty good. I was happy with it and (it) didn't bother me too much. Definitely did not set it back. So, I am really happy with that and that was the goal, to play, find a way to win the game and not set it back and we've got 10 days now to recover and get ready for Pittsburgh. So it went perfect, honestly."
If not for three end-of-game kneel-downs that cost him four yards, Lawrence's final rushing stat line would have read five carries for 63 yards, with many of them coming in key spots with the offense stymied after a hot start.
"Like I said, that wasn't the plan," he said. "It wasn't the plan, but you know, instincts kind of take over and I'm glad that it was able to hold up and I was able to feel good enough to make those plays. I think those were needed at times. You have to give credit to that Saints defense. They are a good defense. They gave us some tough looks. The guys up front did a heck of a job blocking and giving me opportunities down the field. Then when I needed to scramble, I had clean lanes. And you know, I don't know if that was part of the Saints' plan to bring those pressures with me maybe not being able to be as mobile, but the lanes opened up and presented itself and I took advantage."
Lawrence finished 20-of-29 passing for 204 yards and a touchdown -- 44 of those yards came on a 3-yard toss that Christian Kirk took for the game-winning TD.
With a questionable knee, the Jags QB got the ball out quickly to avoid the rush. Lawrence averaged a 2.20-second time to throw, which led to just three total pressures. The QB wasn't pressured on any of his 11 dropbacks in the second half, per Next Gen Stats.
And when he couldn't get the ball out quickly, he used his legs, which seemed to surprise a Saints defense that likely didn't plan for a mobile quarterback, given the knee injury.
Coach Doug Pederson glowed about his QB's ability to play through ailment.
"It just again shows the type of person he is and the unselfishness he has," Pederson said. "I saw it last year when he got injured. He got injured in the Detroit game, and he battled injury throughout the rest of the year and gutted that out. This is different. This is a short week. On Monday, I would have told you he was not playing in this football game, but that's not who Trevor is. Again, I'm proud of his effort -- the ability to escape the pocket and run. Fortunately, they were straight-ahead runs. He didn't have to cut too much. A lot of gutsy performances out there, and his is probably the No. 1."
Winners of four consecutive games, the 5-2 Jaguars now have 10 days for Lawrence to rest his knee before they face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8, followed by a Week 9 bye.