Lamar Jackson will not play due to illness; it’s not COVID


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Lamar Jackson will not play due to illness;  it's not COVID

Hard hit to the already depleted offense of Ravens; Jackson’s place will be taken by Tyler Huntley

Lamar Jackson is inactive for the Baltimore Ravens game against the Chicago Bears due to an illness not related to COVID-19. His absence is the biggest blow to an already meager offense.

Jackson was considered “50-50” for the game after being added to the injury report on Saturday, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This came after Jackson reported that he was “feeling great” to return to full participation in practice Friday after missing two days.

Tyler Huntley, who was not drafted in the 2020 Utah draft, will make his first NFL start. He has completed 14 of 29 passes in the regular season and playoffs, throwing for 114 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Losing Jackson is the latest challenge for the NFL’s No. 2 offense. The first two running backs (JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards) and Pro Bowl left tackle (Ronnie Stanley) suffered season-ending injuries, and wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown was ruled out Saturday with a thigh injury.

The Ravens organization was affected this week by a disease other than COVID-19. Wide receiver Rashod Bateman and center Bradley Bozeman missed a practice each due to illness, but neither was on the injury report at the end of the week.

Jackson was the hardest hit by the disease. When he got to Soldier Field, Jackson was wearing a mask and slowly walked to the locker room.

Jackson, one of the NFL’s top MVP contenders, has accounted for 82.8% of Baltimore’s offense (3,086 of 3,727 yards) this season. He is ninth in the NFL in passing (2,447 yards) and seventh in carries (639).

The Ravens (6-3), leaders of the AFC North, cannot afford to lose to the Bears (3-6) because their schedule becomes increasingly difficult. After playing Chicago, Baltimore doesn’t have another game against a team with a losing record.

This is the third time Jackson has missed a game in his four-year career. He did not participate at the end of the 2019 season because Baltimore had already secured top spot in the AFC, and was kept out of the Week 12 game in 2020 after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Ravens are 1-1 without Jackson, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019 and falling in Pittsburgh in 2020 after the team suffered one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in sports.

Baltimore is coming off a 22-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins, scoring its fewest points with Jackson as its starting quarterback.


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