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Report: Ravens' Lamar Jackson Believes He Can Return from Knee Injury for Playoffs

Adam WellsJanuary 7, 2023

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens drops back to pass against the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Lamar Jackson has already been ruled out for Sunday's regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals, but the 2019 NFL MVP is optimistic he will return for the postseason.

Per NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the Baltimore Ravens star has "indicated" to people close to him that he's "confident" about playing in the playoffs.

Rapoport did note that some people who have watched Jackson closely as he continues to rehab his knee injury aren't as convinced he can return.

Jackson has been out since suffering a sprained PCL in his left knee in the first quarter of Baltimore's 10-9 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 13.

Head coach John Harbaugh initially said going into Week 14 that Jackson would be out on a week-to-week basis, but he'll "become more and more likely" to play after Week 14.

Since that time, though, Harbaugh has been vague about the status of his star quarterback. He told reporters on Friday the Ravens "just really don't know" when Jackson will be available.

"I know everyone's working as hard as they can. Lamar's working as hard as he can, the trainers are working as hard as they can, and [I] can't wait for him to get back, obviously, just like everybody else. That's where we're at," Harbaugh said. "He won't be playing in this game, and we'll be hopeful for next week. We'll just see where we're at then."

According to Rapoport, Jackson is doing what's asked of him in rehab and training sessions, but this isn't a situation where he's simply waiting for the playoffs to start before returning.

Jackson hasn't practiced with the team since injuring his knee. This marks the second consecutive year he's suffered an injury that has kept him out for the final stretch of the regular season. The two-time Pro Bowler missed the final five games last season after suffering a sprained ankle in a Week 14 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

The Ravens lost their final six games after an 8-3 start last season to miss the playoffs. They have already clinched a playoff berth going into Sunday's game, but their seeding has significant implications after the NFL adjusted the AFC playoff format to account for the Bengals and Buffalo Bills playing one fewer game than other teams in the conference.

If the Ravens beat Cincinnati and Los Angeles Chargers beat the Denver Broncos, Baltimore will be the No. 6 seed and would play the Bengals in the AFC Wild Card Game.

The site of the potential Ravens-Bengals wild-card game would be determined via coin flip in that scenario.

Baltimore went 8-4 in 12 starts with Jackson this season. He has thrown for 2,242 yards, run for 764 yards and accounted for 20 touchdowns.