The Baltimore Ravens are preparing for a playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals this weekend. They lost three of their final four games of the regular season, including their final two. They have not had their franchise quarterback on the field in six weeks. They still don’t know if they’ll have him on Sunday.
Said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh when asked for an update on quarterback Lamar Jackson’s status yesterday, “I don’t have anything really to add on that. No updates at this time”, via the team’s website.
This was after the team’s first practice session of the week, in which Jackson did not participate. He has not been on the practice field since getting hurt against the Denver Broncos all the way back in Week 13 before the Steelers even played them once. Even if he does play, it goes without saying that he won’t be at 100%. But he could still play below that.
“As long as he’s safe, and healthy and can play – it’s for any player, it’s not really just any particular player”, Harbaugh said when he was asked about Jackson playing even if he isn’t fully healthy. “Any player goes out there, and if he’s healthy and safe and he’s not going to do any damage to an injury, any player plays and does what he can to the level that he can in that situation”.
It probably doesn’t need saying, but lots of players suit up at this time of year and play through injuries. The playoffs make it a lot easier to put your health aside for a moment and just go out there and give whatever you have to give.
Jackson started 12 games this season, with the Ravens going 8-4. He went 203-for-326 passing for 2242 yards with 17 touchdowns to seven interceptions. He also rushed for 764 yards on 112 attempts with three rushing touchdowns (and five fumbles).
Backup Tyler Huntley started four of the five games that Jackson missed, going 2-2. He went 75-for-112, throwing for 658 yards with two touchdowns to three interceptions. Rookie Anthony Brown had to start the season finale with Huntley nursing an injury of his own. He completed 22 of 49 passes for 302 yards with two interceptions.
Huntley participated in yesterday’s practice, but did not throw at all, at least not during the portion open to the media. Harbaugh did say that he is “on schedule”, and that he will throw as much as he is ready to throw on any given day.
It’s quite possible that Baltimore will have to use a combination of Huntley and Brown on Sunday against the Bengals. There’s still a chance that Jackson plays, but it’s not clear what he will look like if he does after missing the past six games and having not practiced once since then.