Is Lamar Jackson playing this week? Latest news, injury updates on Ravens QB's playoff status vs. Bengals

Is Lamar Jackson playing this week? Latest news, injury updates on Ravens QB's playoff status vs. Bengals

One of the biggest questions heading into Wild Card Weekend is the status of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Jackson, who hasn’t played since Week 13 because of a sprained knee suffered against the Broncos, is the foundation upon which the Baltimore offense is built. The Ravens are averaging 13 points per game with Tyler Huntley and Anthony Brown at the helm, and despite going 2-3 in that span, truth be told things look dire.

They’ll be going up against a very good Bengals team that just dispatched them last week 27-16 as they look to take the season series to advance to the divisional round.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday that Jackson has a “strong chance” of playing in the wild card game, but the Ravens aren’t giving much indication one way or the other.

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Jackson completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 2,242 yards and 17 touchdowns with seven interceptions in the regular season, and he rushed for 764 yards and three touchdowns. Huntley, as he has in seasons past, has done fairly well in his stead. Simply put, however, Huntley isn’t Jackson.

There are, however, red flags. Jackson still isn’t practicing, and John Harbaugh doesn’t seem to have a timeline for his return.

“I don’t really have an update right now to share with you,” he said on Jackson returning to practice, per ESPN.

Is Lamar Jackson playing this week vs. Bengals?

Despite Schefter reporting last weekend that Jackson had a “strong chance” to be ready for the playoff opener, it appears that will not be the case.

Schefter reported on Thursday that Jackson did not practice again, and is not expected to play against Cincinnati.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports that Jackson’s injured knee “hasn’t felt right” as he attempts to return to action.

Jackson hasn’t played since Week 13 against the Broncos with a sprained knee. The Ravens offense has struggled without him, averaging under 15 points per game. It will undoubtedly take more to beat Cincinnati, who finished this year on a tear.

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On Thursday, Jackson posted a statement on his Twitter updating his status.

“Thank you everyone for your support and concerns regarding my injuries,” Jackson wrote. “I want to give you all an update as I am in the recovery process. I’ve suffered a PCL grade 2 sprain on the borderline of a strain 3. There is still inflammation surrounding my knee and my knee remains unstable. I’m still in good spirits, as I continue with treatments on the road to recovery. I wish I could be out there with my guys more than anything but I can’t give a 100% of myself to my guys and fans I’m hopeful we still have a chance.”

Grade 2 PCL sprain recovery time

According to Mercy Health, a moderate sprain of the PCL can take three to four weeks to fully recover. It writes that athletes can return to the sport within eight weeks “as long as there are no other complications associated with the injury.”

Sunday’s game against the Bengals will mark six weeks since the injury, which would place Jackson past the expected time to fully recover, but still within the window Mercy Health would expect athletes to need in order to return to their sport.

Who is the Ravens’ backup quarterback?

Tyler Huntley is the Ravens’ backup quarterback, with Anthony Brown serving as the third-stringer.

That’s important because Huntley is also questionable for Sunday against the Bengals with a nagging shoulder injury that has left him limited in practice.

Huntley didn’t throw for the Ravens but was with the team Wednesday, per Zrebiec.

The 24-year-old has started games for Baltimore in each of the past two seasons and is completing 67 percent of his passes for 658 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions this season. 

Ravens QB depth chart

The Ravens are currently carrying three quarterbacks on their roster heading into the postseason.

1Lamar Jackson (Q)
2Tyler Huntley (Q)
3Anthony Brown

Because of Huntley’s injury, he may or may not play in Jackson’s place Sunday. Things seem to be trending toward him playing. Following Huntley, Brown — who started the last game of the season against the Bengals — would be the Ravens’ third option. 

Brown completed 19 of 44 passes against the Bengals for 286 yards and two interceptions, playing from behind nearly the entire game.