Report: Lamar Jackson's Return from Injury for Ravens vs. Bengals Doubted by Insiders

Erin WalshJanuary 9, 2023

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 04: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens warms up before the game against the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
G Fiume/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens may have to open the NFL playoffs without starting quarterback Lamar Jackson.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported there's a level of skepticism about Jackson's status for Sunday's Wild Card Round game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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Jackson missed five games while recovering from a sprained knee in a Week 13 win over the Denver Broncos.

Entering Week 18, Jackson was still dealing with swelling in his knee, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, who added there was a "strong chance" of him playing in the team's wild-card game.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told reporters on Jan. 6 the team was "hopeful" the veteran signal-caller could return before the playoffs.

While Jackson was sidelined, backup quarterback Tyler Huntley played admirably in his absence, leading the Ravens to a 2-2 record over his four starts. Anthony Brown led the offense in a 27-16 Week 18 loss to the Bengals.

If Jackson is once again unavailable, then Baltimore could be in serious trouble. His injury has reinforced how important he is for the team.

The 2019 MVP completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 2,242 yards and 17 touchdowns against seven interceptions in 12 regular-season games, in addition to rushing for 764 yards and three scores.