Lamar Jackson Dealt with 'a Lot of COVID Symptoms' During Absence, John Harbaugh Says

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 7, 2021

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson works out during the team's NFL football training, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh described Saturday what quarterback Lamar Jackson was dealing with during his absence due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.

According to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, Harbaugh said Jackson was experiencing "a lot of COVID symptoms."

Per ESPN's Jamison Hensley, Jackson tested positive for COVID-19 on July 27 and missed 10 days of training camp before getting activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday.

Hensley added that 10 days is the minimum amount of time an unvaccinated player is required to miss after a COVID-19 diagnosis. 

Jackson also tested positive for COVID-19 in November, forcing him to miss a Week 12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Veteran Robert Griffin III started that game in his place.

The 24-year-old Jackson is set to enter his fourth NFL season, and while playoff success has largely eluded him, he has accomplished plenty during his short time in the league.

Jackson is 30-7 during the regular season as a starter and has led the Ravens to the playoffs in each of his three seasons. He is also a one-time Pro Bowler and one-time first-team All-Pro.

In 2019, Jackson was named NFL MVP after he completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 3,127 yards, 36 touchdowns and just six interceptions in addition to rushing for 1,206 yards and seven scores.

Jackson's numbers weren't quite as good last season, but he still managed to complete 64.4 percent of his attempts for 2,757 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions while rushing for 1,005 yards and seven touchdowns.

Given his high-level production, Jackson could soon be in for a massive contract extension that would likely make him one of the highest-paid players in NFL history.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who was also part of the 2018 NFL draft class, was reported to have signed a six-year extension worth up to $258 million on Friday by ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Allen will reportedly receive $150 million in guaranteed money, which would be the most ever in an NFL contract, and his $43 million average annual salary is second only to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Jackson should get something in that neighborhood, although it may fall a bit short of what Allen received since he is just 1-3 in the playoffs and fell to Allen and the Bills in the AFC Divisional Round last season.

Regardless of Jackson's contract situation, his preparations for the 2021 season can begin in earnest now that he is back, and the Ravens are set to enter the campaign as one of the top contenders in the AFC once again.