OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson hasn’t been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers even though he didn’t practice all week with a sprained right ankle and is officially listed as questionable.
“I’d say he has a chance [of playing Sunday],” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said about Jackson’s availability after Friday’s practice. “It’s just one of those things where it’s an ankle sprain where if he starts feeling good and we’ll check him out prior to pregame … and we’ll see where we’re at. But if not, we’ve got Tyler [Huntley] and he’ll be ready to go also.”
Jackson has never missed a game because of injury in his four-year NFL career, a streak which has never been more in jeopardy than now. This marked the first time an injury has sidelined Jackson for an entire week of practice. He was unable to participate Friday, when Baltimore held a walkthrough.
Harbaugh said Jackson’s ankle has improved and reiterated that it’s not a major injury. The Ravens injury report will come Friday afternoon.
If Jackson can’t play, Huntley would make his second career start, and recently added Josh Johnson would become the primary backup. Huntley led a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter to help Baltimore win at Chicago 16-13 four weeks ago, when he filled in for an ill Jackson. He then nearly rallied the Ravens from a 21-point deficit Sunday in Cleveland.
Huntley has taken the first-team reps all week in practice.
“It put me on a good track,” Huntley said.
Jackson has only missed three games in his career, getting sidelined twice by illness (including COVID-19 last year) and sitting out the 2019 season finale after Baltimore had already clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
This season, he has been listed as questionable three previous times. Jackson had an illness in Week 3 and a sore back in Week 4, but he played both times. In Week 11, he was added to the injury report a day before the game against the Bears and was a game-day scratch.
Before the ankle injury, Jackson had been in the midst of the worst slump of his career. Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, has lost three of his last four starts, throwing a total of six interceptions.
In Sunday’s 24-22 loss in Cleveland, Jackson injured his ankle early in the second quarter when Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah dove at the back of Jackson’s lower right leg following a pass. Jackson has been contacted 16 times per game this season, the highest single-season rate by a quarterback in the last 15 years, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
If a banged-up Jackson plays Sunday, he would line up behind an offensive line that has allowed a league-high 47 sacks this season and has had three starters miss at least one practice this week. Baltimore also plays at the Cincinnati Bengals next week in a game that could have major ramifications in the AFC North, but Harbaugh previously said that won’t factor into the decision on whether to play or rest Jackson against Green Bay.
The Ravens (8-5), who lead the AFC North by one game, are 6.5-point underdogs to the Packers (10-3). Baltimore hasn’t been this big of a home underdog in six years.