The Baltimore Ravens expect Lamar Jackson to return next week in ‘good form’

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said on Wednesday that he expects quarterback Lamar Jackson to sign up for the mandatory minicamp next week.

“I know he’s working hard … I fully expect him to come back in good shape,” Harbaugh said. “I’m sure he’s throwing. I’m sure he’s doing a good job. When he gets back here, we’ll ride with Lamar.”

Jackson has not participated in the team’s first three weeks of organized team activities and has skipped all eight volunteer workouts. It’s the first time in Jackson’s five-year NFL career that he has chosen not to attend spring training, and Jackson has not given a reason for his absence.

Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, enters his fifth-year option, which will pay him $ 23.016 million this season. If the parties are unable to enter into a new agreement by February, Baltimore is expected to use the franchise mark on him.

After being absent from the first OTAs last month, Jackson tweeted “Can’t wait to come back” and told teammates he would be back soon. Jackson has held private throwing sessions in Florida and California with broadband receivers Rashod Bateman and James Proche II, as well as throwing coach Adam Dedeaux.

Last week, the Raven’s offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Jackson will have something to catch up on when he returns.

“We kind of went back and changed some things and added some things,” Roman said. “There are definitely some things that are new. There are also a lot of things that he is pretty well adapted to – probably 80% things he knows, 20% things that we look forward to working on.”

In addition to the schematic changes, the Ravens will have a new look on the offensive in terms of personnel. After swapping Marquise “Hollywood” Brown for the Arizona Cardinals in April, Baltimore’s new No. 1 wide receiver is Bateman, who only played seven games with Jackson last season because they both struggled with injuries. The Ravens also added two pass-catching tight ends in the fourth round (Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely) to complement Mark Andrews and provide more opportunities for a passing attack that ended in a 13th-place finish in the NFL last season.

Along the offensive line, Baltimore invested a first-round pick in starting center Tyler Linderbaum and signed right-handed tackle Morgan Moses into free agency. In the backfield, Mike Davis is the top back until JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards, who both come from torn ACLs, return at some point in training camp.

In total, there could be up to five different offensive starters in this season’s opening compared to last year’s first game.

The last time Jackson addressed his absence was on May 27, when he responded to Twitter with criticism from NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms for skipping spring training.

“Lamar will be Lamar,” Jackson wrote. “This part of the OTAs is voluntary. I want to be there, just not on your guard. It’s probably other QBs who do not participate in voluntary OTAs either. Since it’s Lamar, it’s a huge deal. Find something else to talk about. “

Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen also missed out on OTAs recently for attending their charity golf event The Match. Kyler Murray also missed some OTAs before returning.

The Ravens’ attack has been subject to increased control since Jackson was a unanimous NFL MVP in 2019, with Baltimore leading the league by scoring 33.2 points per game. match. In games where Jackson has started, the Ravens’ scoring dropped to an average of 28.1 points in 2020 and 23.5 points in 2021.

Roman was asked if he was disappointed that Jackson has not been to the OTAs.

“I do not want to get into all that,” Roman said. “I let you talk to him about it, but our job as coaches is to develop everyone to their full potential, and when they’re here we can do it. That’s what we’re focusing on right now. I’m sure “Lamar is working hard, but I’m sure he’s going to have a chance to talk to you about it at some point.”

As Jackson is missing from the OTAs, the Ravens have turned to Tyler Huntley, who was 1-3 as a fill for Jackson last season with two near-ups by the Green Bay Packers and the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. During the open training sessions this spring, Huntley has been up and down, delivering some big strikes down the field and then throwing behind some open goals.

“The representatives have been amazing to him. I think he does a good job,” Harbaugh said. “He runs the offensive really well. Communication has been really good at the line. He can always be more consistent. I think that’s something he’s shooting for.”

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