Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was apparently never close to returning to the field after suffering the knee injury that forced him to miss the final five regular-season games and last night’s playoff loss.
Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey said after Sunday’s game that Jackson was clearly not healthy enough to play.
“I don’t even know if I should say this, but he’s like limping around the facility,” Humphrey said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN. “That’s kind of the crazy thing that people don’t see.”
Humphrey said the players never had any doubt that Jackson was unable to play, but he hopes the team gives Jackson a long-term contract in the offseason.
“Obviously, we knew that he wasn’t going to be out there with us, but hopefully we sign him to a big-term deal and he’s a Raven with me forever,” Humphrey said.
Humphrey’s comments are strange for a few reasons. One is his couching it with, “I don’t even know if I should say this.” Who does Humphrey think wouldn’t want him to tell the truth about Jackson’s injury?
Another is that much of the reporting around Jackson’s injury has made it sound a lot less serious than it was. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported when Jackson suffered his torn PCL that such an injury usually forces players to miss one to three weeks. Jackson suffered the injury six weeks ago and is still not close to being healthy enough to return.
Schefter also reported a week after Jackson suffered the injury that Jackson was likely to miss two games and then return on Christmas Eve.
The Ravens’ own reporting on Jackson also missed the mark: At the time of the injury, the Ravens didn’t even rule out Jackson missing no games at all, listing him as doubtful, rather than ruling him out, for the Ravens’ next game.
So there’s been messaging about Jackson’s knee that would suggest it wasn’t all that serious an injury, and yet six weeks later, his teammate says Jackson is limping around the facility and obviously can’t play.
Jackson should have plenty of time to heal and be good to go for the 2023 season. But first he needs that big contract that Humphrey says the team ought to give him.