NFL Coaches Now Calling Lions About How to Stop Lamar Jackson

Ravens Lamar Jackson

Getty Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson throws a pass against the Detroit Lions during Week 3.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is such a unique offensive weapon that NFL teams are calling his former opponents for intel on how to stop the 2019 MVP.

Detroit Lions‘ defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn received calls from other coaches around the league seeking advice on how to stop Jackson and the Ravens’ offense after the Lions’ Week 3 matchup with the Ravens, according to Chris Burke of The Athletic.

The Lions’ defense held the Ravens to just season-lows of 387 yards and 19 points last Sunday after Baltimore scored a total of 63 points in their first two games. Jackson still gashed the lines to the tune of 345 total yards, with only a few drops separating him from a multi-touchdown game.

“I started getting calls from a number of people around the league just talking about, ‘Man, how do we defend these guys?'” said Glenn on Thursday, per Erik Schitt of SB Nation.

The Lions focused on limiting the Ravens’ league-leading rushing attack, holding Baltimore to a season-low 116 rushing yards. However, loading up to stop the run opened up passing lanes for Lamar Jackson, who has been pushing the ball downfield more than any other quarterback in the NFL this season.

Still, the Lions put up the best performance against the Ravens’ offense of any opponent this season, as the Ravens surpassed 400 yards of total offense in Weeks 1 and 2. Baltimore only scored one touchdown in Detroit, needing an NFL-record 66-yard field goal as time expired to win the game.

Ravens’ Much-Hyped Rookie Returns to Practice

But despite early injuries, the Ravens’ offense is expected to get stronger as the year goes on.

Just this week, 2021 first-rounder Rashod Bateman returned the practice alongside fellow receiver Miles Boykin.

The Ravens drafted Bateman with the 27th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, with the hopes that he would emerge as a top-tier outside receiving target for Lamar Jackson. But a preseason injury forced Bateman onto the injured reserve list, sidelining him for the first three weeks of the season.

Though the former Minnesota Gopher was eligible to be activated against the Broncos, the Ravens opted to hold him out for another week rather than throw him into a tough matchup against a solid Denver defense.

Even without Bateman, Lamar Jackson has gotten off to a hot start in 2021, recording over 1,000 total yards in just three games, leading the league in yards per carry and yards per completion.

Stanley, Boyle Yet to Participate in Practice

The Ravens will be without All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley and tight end Nick Boyle for the immediate future, as neither has returned to practice.

Stanley suffered a season-ending ankle injury last season and managed to start the Ravens’ Week 1 contest against the Las Vegas Raiders, but a setback sidelined him for Weeks 2 and 3.

However, Stanley has avoided surgery and appears to be on track to return later this season, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Boyle is eligible to come off the injured reserve list as well, but he has yet to practice. The powerful blocker is an underrated cog in the Ravens’ rushing scheme, so his return will bolster an offense that already leads the league in rushing yards.

The Ravens have not announced any updates on injured left guard Tyre Phillips, who was carted off the field during the Ravens’ regular season opener in Las Vegas. He is eligible to come off of the injured reserve list in Week 5, but he may miss a few additional weeks as he recovers from a knee injury.