Lamar Jackson Reveals Full Extent of Season-Ending Ankle Injury

Ravens Lamar Jackson

Getty Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson looks on before a January 2022 game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson revealed that he is still recovering from the ankle injury that ultimately ended his 2021 season during a press conference on January 10.

“It’s just a bone bruise, but it’s day to day,” said Jackson in his first media appearance since suffering the injury on December 12 against the Cleveland Browns.

The injury was first believed to be an ankle sprain, as was initially announced by Ravens head coach John Harbaugh on December 13, but Jackson’s update confirms a December 19 report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the 24-year-old quarterback suffered a bone bruise.

Jackson returned to what would be his final practice of the season on December 29, but did so with a noticeable limp, leading the Ravens to shut him down.

“They didn’t want me to go out there and hurt myself more,” said Jackson, “I wanted to play, and I just couldn’t.

The 2018 first-round pick ultimately missed the Ravens’ last six games, all of which ended in a loss, in a disappointing end to a season in which he was once thought to be an MVP candidate. Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley started five of those six games, with late-season signing Josh Johnson starting against the Bengals in Week 16.

Jackson emphasized how painful it was to watch the Ravens’ playoff hopes slip away from the sidelines, saying, “I was sick. That’s not anything I want to do.”

He was confident about his return next season, though, telling media, “I don’t see myself doing that ever again.”

Ravens fans will certainly hope the same, as Jackson had avoided a major injury in the NFL before his bone bruise, a point that was overlooked by critics who claimed that mobile quarterbacks are more likely to be injured.

Jackson Excited To Get RBs Back

Jackson also expressed his excitement at the wave of Ravens who are expected to return from injuries for the 2022 season, including co-starting running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards.

“I feel like both of them are first string, because those guys are so dynamic,” said Jackson, “They just do something special when they get the ball in their hands.”

Dobbins finished his 2020 rookie season with 6.0 yards per carry, the third-highest figure among all players and first among NFL running backs. Jackson led the league with 6.3 yards per attempt, with Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray in second place with 6.2.

Edwards averaged 5.0 yards per carry in 2020, giving the Ravens a third player in the NFL’s top 12 in terms of yards per carry that season on their way to a third consecutive team rushing title.

The Ravens still finished with the third-most rushing yards in the NFL this season, but the absences of Dobbins and Edwards were still felt.

Baltimore had to rely on veteran backs Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray – plus a five-game cameo from Le’Veon Bell – in the backfield with Jackson and later Huntley. None of the three running backs eclipsed 4.5 yards per carry on the year, with Huntley and Jackson finishing with the team’s top two rushing averages.

“Those are our brothers, and we know how those guys are when they’re out there on that field,” continued Jackson, “It’s a different type of vibe that you get when those guys are running the ball.”

Ravens’ RB3 in 2022?

Before the injuries to Dobbins and Edwards, the Ravens were in the middle of an intense competition for their third-string running back job.

Justice Hill was thought to be the frontrunner after occupying the position in 2019 and 2020, but a torn Achilles ended his season as well. 

Ty’Son Williams showed flashes in the preseason and even averaged 5.3 yards per carry in the regular season, but 160 of his 185 rushing yards came in the Ravens’ first three games before he lost the faith of the coaching staff.

While Murray and Freeman are free agents after this season, both could be return candidates after a decent showing for the Ravens. Freeman assumed lead back duties after a midseason injury to Murray, who finished his season with a bang in Week 18, gaining 150 yards on just 16 carries.

The Ravens also have 10 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, so they could look to add a rookie running back to round out their backfield next season.

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