Ravens are fine with Lamar Jackson playing at less than 100 percent; is Lamar?

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On Wednesday, the short version from Ravens coach John Harbaugh regarding quarterback Lamar Jackson and his injured knee went like this: “No updates at this time.”

The longer version was more nuanced and revealing as to the current potential push-and-pull between franchise and franchise quarterback who has yet to sign a franchise-quarterback contract.

Jackson injured his knee on December 4. He hasn’t practiced or played since then. If he’s not 100 percent, the question is whether he’d play at a lower level than that, given that he has yet to secure his long-term financial payday.

He arguably shouldn’t risk it. Harbaugh’s comments regarding whether the team’s comfort level with Lamar playing at less than 100 percent subtly suggest otherwise.

“Of course, yeah, whatever — as long as he’s safe and healthy and can play,” Harbaugh said. “It’s for any player. It’s not really just any particular player. I mean, any player goes out there and if he’s healthy and safe and it’s not gonna do any damage to an injury. Any player, you know, plays and does what he can to the level that he can in that situation.”

That’s a significant “if,” frankly. Especially with a knee injury. If a ligament (reportedly the PCL) is compromised, it presumably can be aggravated. Likewise, any effort to compensate for an impairment or to play at a lower speed can create other potential problems for the player.

Bottom line? If he had his contract, there would be far less financial risk in playing. But he doesn’t. And, like any other player, he should consider very carefully the overall risks associated with that one extra game before finally completing his five-year rookie deal.

28 responses to “Ravens are fine with Lamar Jackson playing at less than 100 percent; is Lamar?

  1. Lamar Jackson has had plenty of opportunities to sign a long-term contract to protect himself, but he’s gotten terrible advice from his representation

  2. This would be a good time to return to the lineup and try to earn the contract he wants. Otherwise, why would any team sign him to a long term, big money deal and then have him sit and watch practice like he has at the end of the last two seasons?

  3. Bulls make money, bears make money and pigs get slaughtered. Shoulda signed the contract that was offered over the summer. He won’t see that kind of offer from the Ravens again.

  4. If he can’t play he shouldn’t risk it. That being said if he can play without a big risk he owes it to his teammates to play for them I feel like. I understand where Lamar is coming from he sees what Watson got paid and thinks he deserves that. Lamar is the one with an MVP, has been a leader and doesn’t have 20+ cases against him. Funny how the Browns are indirectly screwing the Ravens hard right now with that move. Still Lamar is obviously not getting very good advice right now (at the very least PR wise) and needs to hire an agent.

  5. Action Jackson ain’t playing again for the birds. Self absorbed & his agent Momma has not helped his career.
    Grass will not be greener in Miami or wherever else he lands.

  6. The Ravens not paying Lamar showed how Bischotti really feels. Lamar is letting them know how he really feels. And it doesn’t look good for post season success. Good for Jackson. He has one big pay day in his life. Stay healthy and go get it no matter if it’s in Baltimore or wherever

  7. Murray, Wilson, Rodgers are three names that should give ANY team pause in backing up the Brinks truck for any “franchise QB.” The bubble has burst.

  8. I think Lamar shoudn’t play unless he is 100 and maybe not even then. The Ravens are the ones who don’t want to give him a contract. Obviously its two sides, but the Ravens should have to deal with the consequences of not giving him a contract. NFL teams are used to players going out and risking it all without any financial security and even tho I think people should be team players, if I was Lamar I wudnt play again until I was sure that getting injured wudnt risk my lifetime financial security.

  9. This is a business first and foremost, it’s a sport somewhere down the line. It didn’t use to be this way.

  10. I wonder if it makes sense to put the non-exclusive franchise tag on him — meaning he can negotiate with other teams. If he signs and offer sheet, they could match and he’d have his long term deal that he negotiated. Or, they let him go and take the two number one picks. Him playing on the tag would mean another year like this.

  11. The statement “if he is healthy and safe” should not be misconstrued into something it is not. Healthy and safe means what it means.

  12. The ravens should be ashamed of themselves for how theyve handled their starting qb; you dance with the one you brung. Pay him the price he wants, or ship him to someone that will, because someone will and its clearly not B-more

  13. At this point it’s all about the money. There’s no “team” or “respect” or any of the noble code words people use to disguise their base intentions. It’s cold, hard cash and nothing else.

  14. jgd3rd says:
    January 11, 2023 at 5:13 pm
    Bulls make money, bears make money and pigs get slaughtered. Shoulda signed the contract that was offered over the summer. He won’t see that kind of offer from the Ravens again

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    I doubt he cares. There are 31 other teams and all have better skill position talent and plenty willing to pay more than the Ravens. It’s the Ravens that are screwed. Worst offense the league has seen in over a decade without Jackson.

  15. I believe he is currently getting paid under his current contract. If he is physically Unable to play that’s one thing. If he is making a business decision not to then he should have set out all year. He probably understands that Baltimore isn’t giving him 50 million a year at this point. Whatever happens after the season shouldn’t affect your status

  16. Serious question. What does Baltimore have to offer jackson more than any other team? Worst receivers in the league that have dropped a record 8.4% of his passes. Zero healthy Running Backs. Do you think that they are going to reward Dobbins with a lucrative contract for playing great despite a severe limp? Of course not. Roquan Smith is the only quality front 7 player under 34. There highly paid secondary has blown 5 leads in the 4 games Jackson has lost as this season. He should be setting the owners car on fire in order to get traded. No other offense would be this anemic without their starter.

  17. No real incentive for Lamar to play hurt here.
    Too much risk, too little reward.
    Let the Ravens have a preview of what life without Lamar is like, then see what they offer to keep him around.

  18. Remember when Phillip Rivers had the same exact injury and played on one leg and almost beat the Patriots in the playoffs?

  19. Seems to me by sitting out he’s just showing other teams, ‘I don’t care about my team, I’m a running QB who gets injured and is a very slow healer, so don’t bother wasting big $ on me.’

  20. mikecrabtreeschain says:
    January 11, 2023 at 5:41 pm

    I doubt he cares. There are 31 other teams and all have better skill position talent and plenty willing to pay more than the Ravens. It’s the Ravens that are screwed. Worst offense the league has seen in over a decade without Jackson.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I’m with you except for the last sentence. You clearly did not watch the Jets under Gase, or Zach Wilson’s last few games before the benching.

  21. He would be a fool to play in that game. He is out of there after this season no reason to risk further damage if the Ravens had wanted him back they would have signed him last summer he owes that organization nothing. Besides they have zero chance of beating the Bengals with or with out him.

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