If Lamar Jackson were 45-year-old Tom Brady or 38-year-old Aaron Rodgers, Wednesday could come and go as a result of wisdom, patience, and hand care. Instead, when the 25-year-old Baltimore Ravens quarterback showed up wearing a full-length black compression sleeve on his shooting arm and didn’t pass in practice on Wednesday, it elicited the reaction you’d expect.
Raised eyebrows, questions and some surprise, what exactly is the problem.
“It’s just a normal season thing,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters. “Today he trained, so he will play on Sunday.”
While he was apparently training, Jackson told reporters that he didn’t pass on Wednesday and he was also on the injury report with a right elbow injury. He also wore a sleeve with elbow pads, which a league source said is commonly used by team coaches to stimulate blood flow and minimize joint swelling. A source who saw pictures of Jackson in the sleeve said it was comparable to the sleeve worn by Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, whose elbow required minimal rest and rest starting last season and continuing throughout training camp.
While it wasn’t clear exactly what caused the injury, Jackson appeared to hit defenseman Patrick Ricard with his throwing arm in the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins.
“Guys get hit or land on the elbow [in games] and can deal with soreness and swelling for days, so you’ll see them with sleeves as a practical precaution,” the source said. “I don’t think it’s unusual unless he wears it all the time and then takes a day off every week to throw. If so, then this could be a red flag. … He is on the first injury list after [the game on Sunday]so that’s usually where he probably got hit and he just had some swelling or a lump and they take care and make sure he’s okay. [Sunday]”.
Jackson, who has yet to renew his long-term contract, didn’t appear to be worried about having to wear a sleeve and told reporters he was ready to quit on Sunday.
“I’m going to quit Sunday – a lot of Sundays,” Jackson said. “… I’m fine. [elbow] the lining came with a sleeve. It hasn’t been added or anything like that. I will be there on Sunday. I will be in training [Thursday]. I’m fine.”
With two games and a 1-1 record, Jackson had arguably the best start of his career, throwing 64% of his passes for 531 yards and six touchdowns against just one interception. He also ran for 136 yards and scored a touchdown. On Sunday, he will face New England Patriots defensemen who will use Jackson as a test game after the Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mitchell Trubisky both hit 1 touchdown early in the game. :one.
Jackson’s versatility and skill level is a much bigger issue that has never been more apparent than when Patriots coach Bill Belichick confirmed that he sees the Ravens quarterback as an MVP-level player who can shoot out of pocket and end up will get paid as one. .
“Without a doubt, this is the type of player, the MVP candidate,” Belichick said about Jackson. “I think he more than answered [questions about his ability as a pocket passer]. But let’s see what his contract is. It will answer [questions]”.