Lamar Jackson pushes back on the narrative that he’s an injury risk
Yes, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has suffered injuries in each of the last two Decembers. Yes, he has missed time due to those injuries. Yes, some have suggested he could have returned to play after the PCL injury that he suffered in December 2022, against the Broncos.
On Tuesday, Falcons owner Arthur Blank specifically mentioned Jackson’s recent injury history when distinguishing Atlanta’s intense 2022 interest in Deshaun Watson from its current lack of interest in Lamar. That, or maybe something else, prompted Lamar to sound off on social media tonight.
“Let’s get real,” Jackson tweeted. “I rather have a 100% PCL than go out there and play horrible forcing myself to put my guys in a bad situation now that’s selfish to me.”
Jackson also said this: “I don’t remember me sitting out on my guys week 1 vs jets To week 12 vs Broncos. How come all of a sudden I sit out because of money in which I could’ve got hurt at anytime within that time frame 🤔 When we know the Super Bowl been on my mind since April 2018.”
He’s right. He never held out, never even threatened to withhold services in 2021 or 2022, even though he has yet to get an offer from the team that he has deemed worthy to accept.
Whether he should have accepted the best offer made before the start of the 2022 season is a different issue. I continue to believe that, if we knew the full details of the offer that was made, most would say, “Yeah, he probably should have taken that.”
Regardless, he suffered an injury as he closed in on the completion of his rookie contract, with no long-term financial security. Why would he play at anything less than 100 percent when he has no protection or commitment from the team?
As we said at the time, one of the consequences of not having an agent is that he had no one to spread that message at the time, pushing back on those in the media (like Mike Vick) who were calling him out for not putting on a brace and playing.
Of course, if Lamar had an agent, he likely would have had a contract -- which would have provided the security that would have allowed him to try to play at less than 100 percent. Without that contract, he 100 percent did the right thing by not playing unless he was fully and completely healthy.
We applaud Lamar for defending himself this way. His frustration, however, raises questions as to where this all goes. Despite asking for a trade, the Ravens may be his only option. If he gets to the point where he simply won’t play for Baltimore again and if no one will trade for him, what happens?
It’s a question that needs to be considered as this drama continues to play out, one news cycle and/or tweet at a time.