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NFL

Ravens' QB Lamar Jackson ruled out with non covid-19 illness

Jackson's absence will be a serious blow to an already depleted roster ahead of their date with the Bears.

Update:
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has been ruled out of Sunday night's must win game against the Chicago Bears with a non covid-19 illness.
AFP

The Ravens already have injury concerns, now they have to deal with the massive loss of their star quarterback

Lamar Jackson is out with an illness.

Star quarter back for the Baltimore Ravens, Lamar Jackson has been listed as inactive for Ravens' game at the Chicago Bears on Sunday because of an illness. The suspicion of covid-19 was quickly dispelled, however, it does little to soften the significant blow that his absence will create for an already injury hit Baltimore roster. While Jackson was considered "50-50" for the game, he was in fact added to the injury report on Saturday. The news came after Jackson said he was "feeling great" upon returning to full participation in Friday's practice after missing two days.

The Baltimore Ravens will now look to Tyler Huntley. This will be Huntley's first start having joined the Ravens undrafted in 2020. To date Huntley has completed 14 of 29 passes in the regular season and playoffs collectively. He has thrown for 114 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Ravens are in a tough spot

Jackson's absence is the most recent in a string of injury related setbacks for the Ravens who are ranked as the NFL's No. 2 offense. The top-two running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards along with

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Pro Bowl left tackle Ronnie Stanley have all suffered season-ending injuries. Then there is also the highly rated wide receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown who was sidelined just this Saturday with a thigh injury. The Ravens in this last week have been plagued by an illness - which they stated is not covid-19 - resulting in various players becoming sick. Wide receiver Rashod Bateman and center Bradley Bozeman were both absent for a training session, citing illness as the cause, however, it is interesting that neither were put on the injury report as the week came to a close.

What do the Ravens lose in Lamar Jackson?

While there are several absences due to the mystery illness it would appear that it was Jackson himself who was hardest hit. It is understood that upon his arrival at Soldier Field, Jackson was visibly out of sorts as he made his way to the locker room. Jackson, who is without a doubt one of the leading candidates for the MVP title this season has been responsible for 82.8% of Baltimore's offense gains which is to say 3,086 of 3,727 yards on the season.At the moment he is ninth in the NFL in passing with 2,447 yards and seventh in rushing having posted 639 yards.

What lies ahead for the Ravens?

As leaders of the AFC North with a 6-3 record the Ravens can ill afford a stumble here and now. On the other side the Bears have the absolute identical opposite with a 3-6 record which is to say they are itching for a win. What's worse is that there next stretch of games are against teams that are all on winning records, which is to say there are no easy wins coming up. This unfortunately is the third time Jackson has missed a game in his four-year career. Interestingly enough, where covid-19 is concerned, he actually missed the the Week 12 game of the 2020 season after testing positive.

If not covid-19, then what?

Speaking on his condition on Friday, Jackson was playful but clear, saying he believed it was a simple cold as a result of the change in weather as winter approaches. "I usually don't get sick, for real," Jackson said after Friday's practice. "I used to eat my Flintstone vitamins when I was a kid. My immunity system should be good." 

Whether that's the case or not, one thing remains clear. The Ravens are 1-1 when Jackson has missed a start. As a team that suffered one of the major covid-19 outbreaks in sports in general, Baltimore will be looking to dispel the notion that they can't cope. Even more so now having lost their last game to the Miami Dolphins 22-10. It was a game that marked the lowest points scored by the Ravens since Jackson has been their starting quarterback.

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