After missing the Baltimore Ravens‘ last four games of the 2021 regular season with a bone bruise, star quarterback Lamar Jackson is finally back to playing football, according to posted on Jackson’s Instagram.
Eagle-eyed fans can see Jackson throwing to Ravens wide receivers Rashod Bateman and James Proche in the videos. Jackson’s throwing mechanics trainer Adam Dedeaux, who worked with the 2019 MVP last offseason, can be seen looking on in a red shirt, per the Ravens’ Ryan Mink.
Jackson’s return to the field fits with the timeline offered by head coach John Harbaugh, who predicted on January 31 that Jackson would be “back to work the day after the Super Bowl.” Just two days after the Los Angeles Rams bested the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI, Jackson is indeed back to work, offering some optimism for the legions of Ravens fans disappointed both by his injury and the team missing the playoffs.
Jackson does not appear to have a limp in the video, as he did in his initial return to practice with the Ravens on December on December 29, though he is not seen attempting to run.
Fans will be especially excited to see Jackson getting in work with Bateman and Proche, two Ravens receivers who showed flashes in 2021 but struggled during Baltimore’s late-season quarterback rotations.
Bateman, the 27th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, struggled with a groin injury in training camp and missed the Ravens’ first five regular season games. He got off to a hot start by converting first downs on his first 11 career catches, but was only able to play six games with Jackson before his injury.
While Proche was active for 11 of the same games as Jackson, he only received more than two targets in one of those appearances. He did flash his sure hands twice during the regular season, first against the Denver Broncos and later against the Cincinnati Bengals with Josh Johnson at quarterback.
With veteran wideout Sammy Watkins unlikely to re-sign with the Ravens, Bateman will likely enter the 2022 season as a starter, with Proche potentially in the mix for some time out of the slot. Jackson’s chemistry with Marquise “Hollywood” Brown was a major factor in the leap both made in 2021, so both the star quarterback and the young receivers can benefit from the extra work, even this early in the offseason.