Ex-Browns Executive Gets Roasted Over Lamar Jackson Injury Take

Ravens Lamar Jackson

Getty Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson suffers an injury against the Cleveland Browns during a December 2021 game.

Shortly after Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson went down with an ankle injury against the Cleveland Browns on December 12, ex-Browns executive Joe Banner decided to add his thoughts on the injury via Twitter.

Banner, the Browns’ Chief Executive Officer from 2012 to 2014, was thoroughly taken to task for his comments by both Ravens fans and NFL analysts, who pointed out several issues in Banner’s appraisal of the play.

Many pointed out that Jackson was tackled by a Browns defender while passing, not running, when he was injured, though he does have the most rushing attempts of any NFL quarterback this season.

Banner’s argument that Jackson’s injury “should inform future decision-making around the league” was also criticized.

Analyst Brett Kollman asked, “Was it a bad decision for the Ravens to draft a unanimous MVP that wins 80% of his games?” in a response that earned 10 times as many likes as Banner’s original tweet.

In fact, it was clear that most who saw Banner’s tweet disagreed with his assessment, as he received a combined 1,330 replies and quote tweets compared to just 133 likes in a classic case of a Twitter “ratio.”

The narrative pushed by Banner about running quarterbacks is one familiar to many in Baltimore, as pundits have questioned Jackson’s durability for his entire career despite his 2019 MVP award and three consecutive postseason appearances for the Ravens.

Running QBs Not More Injury-Prone

Rodger Sherman of The Ringer noted that many non-mobile quarterbacks have suffered injuries, some season-ending, this season, and evidence from the past decade in the NFL back him up.

Studies have actually shown that mobile passers like Jackson are actually less likely to be injured than the average NFL quarterback, per Sarah Ellison.

She studied NFL quarterback injuries from 2010 to 2019 and found that “run frequency didn’t reliable predict QB injuries” and “quarterbacks that run more are injured less frequently than the NFL QB average.”

This holds true for Jackson, who runs the ball more than any other quarterback in NFL history, yet has never missed a start due to injury, though that could change on December 19 vs. the Green Bay Packers. 

Still, Jackson has made over 615 rushing attempts, and he’s never gotten injured on one of them. That’s partly due to his otherworldly elusiveness, but he’s also demonstrated an ability to avoid big hits from defenders, even when running in traffic.

Both NFL-wide data and Jackson’s career indicate that Banner’s concern over running quarterbacks is way overblown, and probably shouldn’t factor into any actual decisions at the NFL level.


Sour Grapes From Banner?

But such a misevaluation of an NFL player is hardly surprising coming from Banner, whose brief tenure in Cleveland yielded a 9-23 record for the Browns across the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

The Ravens, meanwhile, won Super Bowl XLVII in February 2013 after beating the Browns twice that season.

Barker’s lone draft as CEO for the Browns yielded only one notable player: defensive end Barkevious Mingo. 

But even Mingo, the 6th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, was a disappointment in Cleveland, never recording more than 5.0 sacks or 42 total tackles in a single season as a Brown. He failed to live up to his top 10 draft selection, with the Browns ultimately declining his fifth-year rookie option.

So despite the outcry in response to Banner’s comments about Jackson, it’s clear that the NFL doesn’t take him seriously, and neither should Ravens fans.

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