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Schefter: QB Lamar Jackson Expected To Miss Ravens’ Playoff Game Against Bengals (Update)

Injured since Week 13, the Baltimore Ravens are poised to play their Wild Card game without QB Lamar Jackson. Still rehabbing from a PCL injury suffered against the Denver Broncos, Jackson hasn’t practiced all week. With just days before the team’s playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals, major media reports indicate Jackson isn’t expected to play, including this one from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Jackson’s first missed game came in Week 14 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. At the time, the injury was only expected to cause Jackson to miss a couple of weeks, returning sometime later in the regular season. That timeline has continued to be pushed back with the focus shifting toward the playoffs, especially as the Ravens clinched their playoff spot. But now Jackson seems highly likely to miss this game, too.

UPDATE (5:46 PM): In a rare move from a player, Jackson has taken to Twitter to update his health, explaining his knee still has “instability” and essentially confirming he won’t play this weekend. He says he has a Grade 2 PCL sprain that’s nearly a Grade 3.

Tyler Huntley is expected to start. But as Schefter’s tweet notes, even he is dealing with an injury, limited by an elbow/shoulder issue the past two days. He missed the regular season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Undrafted rookie Anthony Brown started that game and predictably struggled. He went an ugly 19/44 for 286 yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions, and lost a fumble in his end zone that resulted in the Bengals’ score. Huntley appears ready to play in this game but he probably won’t be 100% and one hard hit could force Brown into playoff action.

The Ravens are underdogs on the road against the Bengals. Without Jackson, Baltimore’s offense has gone into a shell, failing to score more than 17 points in any of this year’s games without him. Cincinnati has one of the most potent offenses in football, averaging more than 26 points per game. The Ravens boast a sturdy defense but it seems difficult for them to find a path to victory.

Should their season end this weekend, the Ravens’ focus will turn to Jackson’s future. A free agent at the end of this year, he’s a top quarterback when healthy. But injuries have proved costly each of the last two seasons. An ankle injury last year caused him to miss the final month and the Ravens imploded, going from division leaders to failing to make the playoffs. This year, they limped to the finish line and look like a one-and-done team. A long-term deal with Jackson would be an astronomical sum of money for a player who hasn’t stayed healthy. But not having him as their quarterback next year looks just as risky, their offensive struggles without him proving his value and hefty price tag. They could franchise tag him but there’s no guarantee Jackson would be willing to play under the tag. A tag-and-trade is also on the table with some speculating that is the path the Ravens will take.

This will be one of the most consequential offseasons in franchise history. But first, there’s a game. Ravens versus Bengals. Kickoff is set for Sunday night at 8:15 PM.

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