John Harbaugh: If Lamar Jackson could’ve played, he would’ve played

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In their separate Combine press conferences, Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta and head coach John Harbaugh both brushed aside a question about quarterback Lamar Jackson not attending the postseason game at Cincinnati.

DeCosta didn’t address it further. But ironically, Harbaugh circled back to it when he received a question about his first impressions of Jackson when he met the quarterback in the draft process.

“Nobody does more than Lamar,” Harbaugh said. “I promise you — to your other question back there, I didn’t mean to skip over it, but if he could’ve played, just like all four players, he would’ve played. There’s no question in my mind about that. And he would’ve played as soon as he was ready to play. You know? Hopefully it would’ve been the next week, I don’t know.

“Never doubt that about Lamar Jackson. He’s going to be out there. He’s going to be competing. He’s going to be giving everything he’s got in every situation.”

As a follow-up, Harbaugh was asked if it said something about Jackson as a leader that he wasn’t there.

“I don’t think so,” Harbaugh said. “I think his focus was on getting himself back on the field. You talk all about that stuff, but he was thinking singularly about one thing — rehabbing, keeping the swelling out of his knee as much as he could. That’s all he was thinking about. That’s all he talked about.”

Jackson missed the last five games of the regular season and the postseason loss to the Bengals with a PCL injury.

The Ravens and Jackson are currently still engaged in a long-term contract negotiation. DeCosta said on Wednesday that he’s “hopeful” Baltimore won’t have to use the franchise tag on Jackson. But it still appears likely that the club will have to use that tool to keep him fully off the open market.

22 responses to “John Harbaugh: If Lamar Jackson could’ve played, he would’ve played

  1. So your saying at that time, as he watched every team treat OBJ like he had cooties, that him not playing wasn’t related to securing that next contract first? Hmmmm. Good luck with that!

  2. Hurt or not Hurt… The face of the franchise not traveling with his team in the playoffs is really bad look.

  3. The Ravens owe Lamar the bag. So all this talking is moot. Step up, put out, or shut up; its almost time for the ravens to take action instead of interviews! All their lip service has no bite, Lamar has all the power now, and rightfully so

  4. Translation…after Kyler got hurt, Lamar decided that playing wasn’t worth the risk and decided to hold-out for the rest of the season. Furthermore, there is no-way we will give him a fully guaranteed contract. We are just saying all this hoping someone offers 2 1st rounders when give him the non-exclusive tag in a few weeks.

  5. come on John, what is it with you and your brother being all in on these mediocre running qb’s? he ruined the 49er’s and you seem to want to ruin the ravens by backing a running inaccurate qb! he should have at least traveled with the team, but he quit on the team and everyone knows it, how does that help recruit free agents especialy wr’s?? you won a SB with the prototypical pocket passer in Flacco, then went down the lamar road and where has it gotten you??

  6. Bull.
    He was originally projected to be out ‘days to weeks,’ with PCL sprains taking anywhere from a week to three weeks. Jackson was hurt on December 4th and missed their playoff game on January 15th.
    That’s six weeks.
    If it was just to close out a meaningless season, it would be excusable. But to skip the playoffs, one that saw Mahomes play through an injury that typically sees a player miss six weeks to three months, just shows that he’s not worth the money he’s asking.

  7. Earth to John. He quit on your team. Is that really the kind of person you want to give a long term guaranteed contract to?

  8. If Lamar had gotten paid, he would have played. That’s the real story behind it.

  9. Keep saying it until I’m blue in the face, the owner is the one playing hardball because he always has especially with offensive players (remember Flacco went through this exact same thing). Stop saying it’s anybody but him, and that’s his prerogative, but stop playing this Raven organization card or that it’s Jackson and his camp versus them. It’s the owner. He has the checkbook.

  10. That’s quite the trade chip you got there. Swelling in the knee, quitting on the team, wanting Watson money.



  11. We all know Josh Allen would have played no matter what. Of course, he would ended up with multiple turnovers at crucial times by playing hero ball.

  12. When your offense is really only a fake QB that runs and runs and can’t read a defense, your team looks exposed when he’s not there. But then again, you are the ones who never taught him how to develop as a QB and you exploited his legs for all they are worth. Now they are worthless.

  13. I understand being nervous about paying a 6 – 10 QB top 3 money, but organizations need to realize QBs got you by the short and curlies. You either have a QB or you don’t matter. Look how quickly NE became irrelevant.

    We are living in a world where Daniel Jones is asking for $41M+ per year. So that means you have to pay Lamar according to what the market will bear.

    Pay him, trade him, or let him walk. Don’t care what you pick, but it’s time to make a decision and shut up about it.

  14. Would be nice if just once these guys told the truth instead of circling the wagons…

  15. Although I have my doubts about Jackson’s intent, Harbaugh handled that news conference brilliantly.

  16. Why wasn’t Harbaugh saying these very things the week of the playoff game vs the Bengals? He was mum with his body language loudly showing that he was frustrated with Lamar. He knew he was ready to play but was sticking it to the team. Now here we are the story has changed. Lamar could’ve used that kind of support back in January when he was being accused of quitting on the team John. Now you’re going to endear yourself to him and pretend you have his back now? Lamar may not be a master negotiator but he is smart enough to realize when the sword is sticking him in the back.

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