The Ravens took a 38-6 lead over the Browns with 13:06 left in the game. The Ravens nevertheless left quarterback Lamar Jackson in the game for one more drive. During that drive, Jackson took a big hit.
After the game, coach John Harbaugh acknowledged that consideration was given to removing Jackson earlier, but the decision was made to keep him in. So what happens the next time the Ravens have a lead that may or may not be big enough to justify removing Jackson at a time that may or may not be late enough?
“I hope we have that problem,” Harbaugh said.
It’s a tough balance, especially in a year with no preseason. On one hand, Jackson needs the work. On the other hand, Jackson needs to be protected. Then there’s the reality, as Harbaugh explained, that Jackson desperately wants to play.
Still, it’s a challenge for teams that find themselves in a game that has become, in the second half, a no-contest proposition. The Ravens got lucky this time by keeping Jackson in the game. And the thing about luck is that it tends to be on your side, until the precise moment that it isn’t.