Latest on Lamar Jackson’s injury and contract situation

Lamar Jackson could play his final game with the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, if he hasn’t already.

Jackson’s availability for the Ravens’ wild-card game against the Cincinnati Bengals remains in question because of a knee injury he suffered on Dec. 4 that has cost him the past five games. He was not seen at the team’s first practice of the week Wednesday, which came two days after Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he had no update on the health of his starting quarterback.

Wednesday: Injury continues to bother Jackson

Initially, it was reported that Jackson would miss only a couple of games with a PCL sprain. Now it appears his status for Sunday’s game could be in doubt as he faces an “uphill battle” to play, NFL Network reported Wednesday. Jackson’s knee is reportedly “not feeling right” and there is still some swelling, making it a “long shot” to play on Sunday.

It’s unknown who would start at quarterback for the Ravens if Jackson can’t go. Tyler Huntley filled in for Jackson when he went down in Week 13 and started the next four games, but missed Week 18 with shoulder and wrist injuries. He reportedly did not throw during Wednesday’s media availability portion of practice.

Undrafted rookie Anthony Brown started in Hunley’s place in Week 18. He completed 19 of 44 passes for 286 yards with two interceptions in the Ravens’ 27-16 loss to the Bengals.

Baltimore’s offense has struggled with Jackson out since early December. In the five games he played, Huntley completed 67% of his passes for 658 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions, giving him a 77.2 passer rating. He also added 137 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown as the Ravens have averaged just 12.5 points per game since Week 13, going 3-3 in that stretch.

Tuesday: Jackson’s future in Baltimore takes a turn

Speculation about Jackson’s future in Baltimore heated up Tuesday when the Ravens signed linebacker Roquan Smith to a five-year extension reportedly worth $100 million with $45 million guaranteed and $60 million in guarantees totals

With Jackson in the final season of his rookie deal, Sunday’s game could be his last in a Ravens jersey, if he plays. Jackson and the Ravens were unable to agree to an extension before the quarterback’s self-imposed deadline at the start of the regular season. Baltimore He reportedly offered the 2019 NFL MVP a five-year contract worth more than $250 million with $133 million guaranteed before the season. Jackson wanted a fully guaranteed deal similar to the one Deshaun Watson received from the Browns in March 2022, which was a five-year, $230 million deal.

With Smith signing an extension, it’s easier for the Ravens to franchise-tag Jackson next offseason since they won’t have to choose between the All-Pro linebacker or the former MVP.

How should the Ravens handle the Lamar Jackson situation?

How should the Ravens handle the Lamar Jackson situation?

“Speak” discusses what the Ravens should do with their quarterback ahead of Sunday’s playoff game against the Bengals.

Jackson had another quality regular season in 2022, throwing for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions with a 91.1 passer rating to go along with 764 yards and three touchdowns in 12 games.

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