The subject of the majority of the questions at Thursday’s press conference with Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and General Manager Eric DeCosta was quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Jackson’s future with the team after playing out the final year of his rookie deal was one big topic and the knee injury that kept him out of the final six games of this season was another leading one. The combination of the two things led to some speculation that Jackson’s absence was tied to his injury, but Harbaugh said on Thursday that Jackson was close to returning and suggested the quarterback could have been in the mix for this week if the Ravens had advanced.
General Manager Eric DeCosta was asked directly about a link between the contract situation and Jackson’s absence. He said his “feeling is no” correlation between the two because Jackson was injured.
DeCosta also said he saw no reason why Jackson would not be ready to be the Ravens’ quarterback for Week One next season and Harbaugh said he didn’t think the injuries that ended Jackson’s last two seasons were a reason to be concerned about his availability in the future, but that’s one of many questions about the future in Baltimore that will be best answered by seeing Jackson back on the field after his extended absence.