OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has proven to be extremely enduring despite taking more hits than any other quarterback. It is the repeated battles with disease that have given him the most problems.
Jackson missed practice Thursday, marking the fourth time this season that he was sidelined because he was ill.
Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Thursday he doesn’t have a complete update on Jackson’s status.
“I think he’s feeling better,” Roman said.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday that Jackson’s illness is not related to COVID. The AFC North Ravens (6-3) play at the Chicago Bears (3-6) on Sunday.
Jackson has held strong throughout his four-year NFL career despite taking 668 hits (115 more than any other quarterback) since taking over as the Ravens rookie midway through the 2018 season. He missed just two games, skipping the 2019 season finale because Baltimore had already secured the No. 1 seed and was later held out of Week 12 play last season after being positive on COVID-19.
But it was a challenge to stay on the practice field for Jackson. He missed a total of six practices in the first 11 weeks of this season, and only two of those absences were due to injury (back pain).
Without Jackson, backup quarterback Tyler Huntley ran the first-team offense.
Jackson is in the middle of another MVP-like season. He ranks eighth in the NFL in passing (2,447 yards) and seventh in speed (639).
Not having Jackson for consecutive practices only adds to the challenge of a Ravens offense seeking to get back on track. In Baltimore’s last game (a 22-10 loss at Miami on November 11), Jackson had his impressive winning streak – 45 straight regular-season starts with at least 14 points – ended. It was the longest such streak to start a career since 1950, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Crows center Bradley Bozeman, who returned Thursday after missing a day with an illness, doesn’t care about the pace of the offense when Jackson can’t practice.
“I don’t really think it’s that important,” Ravens center Bradley Bozeman said of Jackson’s absences. “I know Lamar does his things at home, which he has to do. He watches plays. He gets everything right at home. When he comes back, he won’t miss a single step. Week after week, he keeps doing it. Build on that and step up. to the plate when he needs to. I don’t see that’s a problem. “
Two of Jackson’s main wide receivers – Marquise Brown (thigh) and Rashod Bateman (undisclosed) – also didn’t practice Thursday. It’s the second consecutive day Brown hasn’t exercised.