Trevor Lawrence leads Jaguars over Saints despite knee sprain

NEW ORLEANS -- Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence was cleared to start Thursday night's game and lifted the Jaguars to a 31-24 win over the New Orleans Saints.

The Jaguars officially announced that Lawrence, who is dealing with the sprained knee he suffered in Jacksonville's victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, would start as coach Doug Pederson saw improvement to his knee after watching Lawrence warm up. Lawrence had been listed as questionable for the game.

Lawrence wore a brace on his left knee during the workout and had no apparent trouble moving around while participating in drills, including pocket movement and lateral movement. He also did the normal throwing he does with the receivers before warmups every week.

For the Saints, meanwhile, Andrus Peat will get the start at left tackle with James Hurst ruled out with an ankle injury, a source told ESPN's Ed Werder. Cameron Erving was elevated from the practice squad to play right tackle with Ryan Ramczyk ruled out because of a concussion. Trevor Penning, a first-round pick by the Saints in 2022 who was benched Sunday after four starts at left tackle, is not viewed as a potential solution at this point, a source told Werder.

The Saints also will get running back Jamaal Williams back as he was activated from injured reserve. Williams had been sidelined by a hamstring injury.

Lawrence on Tuesday said his knee had improved significantly over the past 48 hours and he was optimistic he'd play against the Saints, saying he was "going to do everything I can to be out there on Thursday."

Lawrence has not missed a game in his two-plus seasons with the Jaguars since being selected with the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft.

Lawrence, who has completed 67.1% of his passes for 1,439 yards and seven touchdowns with three interceptions this season, missed only two games in his college career at Clemson, both in 2020, because of COVID-19.