Ex-NFL Doc Offers ‘Good News’ on Lamar Jackson’s Injury

Ravens Lamar Jackson

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

Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson was carted off the field during the first half of the Ravens’ December 12 game against the Cleveland Browns, sparking widespread concern about his status for the rest of the season.

Jackson did not return to the game due to an ankle injury, per the Ravens’ Twitter account, with backup Tyler Huntley playing the rest of the game at quarterback.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told reporters after the game, “Lamar has an ankle sprain. We’ll look at it more tomorrow and see where we’re at.”

Despite being pressed for more details, Harbaugh refused to expand on his comments about Jackson’s injury, only reiterating, “We’ll see how it responds tomorrow.”

Huntley expressed confidence about Jackson’s availability in the future, saying “He’s just going to be ready to work. They’re going to do their tests to make sure he is OK, and he’s going to be back.”

ESPN’s Diana Russini posted a video of Jackson leaving the stadium in a walking boot, reporting that “The Ravens want to see how Lamar Jackson feels tomorrow before any decisions or tests go down.”

But a prominent former NFL team doctor offered some “good news” on Jackson’s injury based on Russini’s video.

David J. Chao, who spent 16 years as the then-San Diego Chargers’ head team physician, wrote that Jackson’s “very low/short boot” is an encouraging sign for the Ravens.

Chao, an orthopedic sports injury specialist, added that Jackson was “unlikely” to have a high ankle sprain, adding that the Ravens should “expect only [a] short term absence.”

Jackson to Undergo Tests

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on the morning of December 13 that Jackson would “have tests on his sprained ankle today.”

While Rapoport cautioned that any game-ending injury to a franchise quarterback is a cause for concern, he noted that Jackson sitting in the front of the cart on his way off the field was “not necessarily a bad sign.”

“He’s going to have more tests today,” said Rapoport, adding “It doesn’t seem like [the Ravens] are fearing a major injury.”

Additional testing will reveal the severity of Jackson’s ankle sprain and give the Ravens a better idea of how long, if at all, he will be out.

Huntley Ready to Start for Ravens

Tyler Huntley told media after the game about his initial reaction to Jackson’s injury: “I just started getting warmed up and just started becoming aware of the situation.”

Huntley added that he was “ready to take on the task,” and it’s safe to say he delivered, almost pulling off a 18-point comeback in the second half.

The former Utah Ute finished with 270 passing yards and a touchdown, though he lost two crucial fumbles, one of which was returned by the Browns for a touchdown.

Huntley appeared confident in his ability to lead the Ravens offense in future weeks if Jackson is still sidelined, saying, “We just have to go out there and give our highest level of effort. That’s what I plan on doing.”

Huntley has only started one game in his career, leading a game-winning two-minute drill to beat the Chicago Bears in Week 12, but he could be in line for another start or two this season if Jackson’s ankle doesn’t improve quickly.