Being in a photo with Taylor Swift guarantees viral attention, and C.J. Beathard experienced this phenomenon, not due to his unexpected appearance in Monday Night Football after Trevor Lawrence’s ankle injury.
As the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals faced off in a tense Monday Night Football clash at EverBank Stadium, the atmosphere shifted when Lawrence suffered an ankle injury with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Beathard, stepping in, helped the team reach overtime, but the Bengals ultimately emerged victorious.
Post-game, Beathard found himself going viral when an old photo of him posing with Taylor Swift surfaced on X. This unexpected connection added an intriguing twist to the narrative of the former Iowa product stepping in for the injured Lawrence.
C.J. Beathard, who completed 9 of 10 pass attempts for 63 yards in the Jaguars’ 34-31 overtime loss, has a background of mingling with country music artists. Growing up in the Nashville area, he had unique experiences due to his father, Casey Beathard, being a songwriter.
Casey Beathard described the lifestyle in a 2015 ESPN feature, saying, “It was the best of both worlds. It was just natural to be hanging out at Kenny Chesney’s house, or sitting in a studio and Trace Adkins is singing. Then on weekends we’d drive down to Atlanta or fly out to San Diego, and they (C.J. and brothers Tucker and Clay) got to spend a lot of time in the locker room and on the sidelines. They got to be around their heroes.”
While Beathard had not started for the Jags until Lawrence’s injury, he may be called upon to start a few games during Lawrence’s recovery. Despite limited playing time, throwing only 17 passes in three seasons with the team, Beathard has a chance to make an impact.
Unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight, C.J. Beathard likely didn’t anticipate being at the center of news headlines this week.