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Lamar Jackson Madden Cover: See the three released

Lamar Jackson Madden Cover: See the three released

The long-awaited images of Lamar Jackson on the cover of Madden 21 came out Tuesday morning from EA Sports.

There are three different covers of the game: An MVP edition in black and white with the phrase “Not Bad For A Running Back” at the bottom right. The regular edition of the game is a collage of various Jackson photos, while the deluxe edition is a similar concept with Jackson spinning a football in his hands. 

Jackson let the news slip at a press conference in April that he would be the cover athlete of this year’s game.

This year’s Madden cover is different than in previous years, as it is the first in the franchise’s history to be a collage of the cover athlete. Madden 21 will be released on Aug. 25, 2020. 

“I grew up playing Madden and owned every copy I could get my hands on, so to be on the cover of Madden NFL 21 is a dream come true, especially when the cover represents so much of my story,” Jackson said in a press release. “The welcome to the Madden family from around the league and from fans has been phenomenal and I think people will have a lot of fun with the new features coming in this year’s game.” 

The franchise is unveiling a few new details in this year’s game, including improved ball-carrier and defensive line mechanics and improved open-field tackling engine.

RELATED: RAVENS PLAYERS LOVE THE NEW MADDEN COVER

They will also be unveiling “Face of the Franchise: Rise to Fame,” a documentary career campaign which will allow players to create a quarterback, running back or receiver and go through experiences in high school through the NFL.

Jackson, in a historic MVP season in 2019, rushed for a quarterback record 1,206 yards and threw for 3,127 yards and a league-best 36 touchdowns in 15 games. Jackson, in just his first year as a full-time starter, led the Ravens to a 13-2 record with him at the controls of the offense. 

The Ravens’ offense led the NFL with a league-best 33.2 points per game en route to the best regular-season record in football at 14-2. 

A few of Jackson’s teammates were shown a sneak peek of the covers 24 hours before the release, and it’s safe to say they approve of this year’s edition.

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Ravens coronavirus protocols made opt-outs an afterthought for Greg Roman and Don Martindale

Ravens coronavirus protocols made opt-outs an afterthought for Greg Roman and Don Martindale

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, NFL players and staff were tasked with a tough decision as training camp begun. They could either participate in the season and face the risks that come with it, or opt out if they felt unsafe.

For Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman and defensive coordinator Don 'Wink" Martindale, the choice was easy. Based on what they've seen from the team and league in terms of safety, they never considered not coaching in 2020.

"It never really entered my mind," Roman said during a Zoom call with media on Wednesday.

"Well, I think with the protocol that’s been established by the league it's obviously a safe environment its football and I never thought about opting out," Martindale said. "I don’t think they would have ever brought us back if they thought it was a high rate of danger with the pandemic. I felt safe coming back and taking all precautions and protocol, wear our masks and do all of the six feet apart and social distancing."

RELATED: RAVENS WON'T RULE OUT QUARANTINING LAMAR JACKSON

While Martindale applauds the league's efforts to control the virus, which now includes daily testing through September 5, the Ravens have specifically made an effort to prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved.

From Lamar Jackson opting to become a "Bubble Boy" to Mark Ingram stating that a positive mindset and cautious behavior will benefit the league, it's clear the team has bought into the idea that a season will only happen if everyone is committed to following the protocols to a tee.

Additionally, Roman says he's been blown away with the technology brought in and the extra precautions Baltimore has taken in order to lessen the risk of infection. That includes a device that alerts someone when they are within six feet of another individual.

The pre-planning prior to arrivals and constant improvements were the reasons the offensive coordinator never had doubts about the campaign.

"Resources and planning that this organization put into the facility procedures, it’s a thought that never crossed my mind," Roman said. "Frankly the unbelievable prep forethought, resources, space, that everybody was able to come up with some great solutions, it never entered my mind. If I came and saw something different you never know but impressive what our organization has done in this unique situation for all of us."

With training camp just beginning and contact practices set to get underway soon, there are still numerous obstacles the league will have to face. But through the initial phase, the Ravens have shown that health and safety are their biggest concerns, and that approach won't change. That mentality made opting in the only reasonable choice for Martindale, Roman and others.

"We’re all in this together. Taking care of each other and each other’s families. Show your discipline and mental toughness, wear your masks in meetings," Martindale said. "I've never thought about opting out."

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Ravens team doctor won't rule out quarantining Lamar Jackson

Ravens team doctor won't rule out quarantining Lamar Jackson

The Ravens don't have any plans to quarantine the unanimous NFL MVP -- yet.

Head team physician Dr. Andrew Tucker spoke with local reporters on a Zoom call Wednesday afternoon on a variety of topics, including NFL safety protocols, mitigating COVID-19 concerns, and more. He also addressed a popular suggestion among fans online: quarantining quarterbacks.

No team wants to lose any of their depth, but some players and positions are clearly more critical than others. At the top of the list is obviously the team's quarterbacks, and few signal-callers are more essential to their team's success than Lamar Jackson is to the Ravens.

With that in mind, Dr. Tucker was asked if Baltimore is considering any plans to isolate Jackson and the other quarterbacks from the rest of the team, to take extra precautions that the position group doesn't see a coronavirus outbreak during the season.

"Not that I know of. I can't speculate on if things change in the community or change in the team, there might be a different approach. I wouldn't rule it out," Tucker said.

It appears that, for now, the Ravens aren't planning to turn Jackson into a true Bubble Boy. As an organization, they have taken countless steps to keep every player as safe and healthy as possible amidst a global pandemic, and they are trusting their protocols to keep Jackson on the field. But it's notable that Dr. Tucker declined to rule out the possibility of things changing down the line.

Obviously, most teams are in a state of flux in regards to COVID-19, and they all have more information everyday. The impact of the virus spreading both within the organization and the greater Baltimore community could lead the Ravens to reverse course in order to protect their most valuable asset.

Jackson, in his own words, hasn't had "one tick" of coronavirus in him yet. The Ravens are going to do everything they possibly can to keep it that way.

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