If anything, Lamar Jackson brought some intrigue to the Hall of Fame Game.
The former Heisman winner and 32nd overall pick made his NFL debut Thursday night, and showed off both his dynamic ability while remaining mostly unscathed.
The Ravens sat Jackson for the entire first half, instead starting Robert Griffin III and using Josh Woodrum in the final minutes. Jackson debuted on the opening drive of the third quarter, and went three-and-out while NBC interviewed Ray Lewis.
After a Bears fumble, Jackson returned on the next drive and showed why he’s a unique talent. He opened the drive with a 10 yard scramble, and then showed his arm strength on an incomplete pass to Hayden Hurst. Check the moves on the scramble:
It took a few plays, but Jackson found his first completion on a third and ten.
He continued to look for his fellow rookie in Hurst. After Hurst drew a penalty for getting blown up over the middle, Jackson found him again for his first NFL touchdown.
It wasn’t all perfect. Jackson wasn’t the most accurate on his throws, and was picked off late in the third quarter.
With the Bears clawing back in the fourth quarter, Jackson only needed a few late first downs to run out the clock. But the coaches took the ball out of Jackson’s hands, running three straight times and kicking the ball away.
All in all it’s the Hall of Fame Game, and it’s too early to evaluate anything from Thursday. Nobody will care, but Josh Woodrum was an efficient 6/6 in limited work. Jackson’s roster spot is safe and it’s unlikely the team will roster four quarterbacks, so there’s a real battle between Woodrum and Robert Griffin III.
Jackson finished the night 4/9 passing for 33 yards with one score and one pick. He added three rushes for 15 yards. He did what he had to do to keep the Ravens ahead, and protected the lead in a 17-16 win.
We’ll get our next look at Jackson in one week, when the LA Rams open up their preseason in Baltimore.