Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Sammy Watkins seemed to call quarterback Lamar Jackson out regarding the injury Jackson is dealing with ahead of Sunday’s wild-card playoff game at the Cincinnati Bengals.
“In this league, everybody is pretty much banged up, hurt,” Watkins explained in comments shared by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “I don’t want to speak for him and his situation and whatever he’s going through with the contracts. I don’t know what world he’s in. But for me, you got a chance to do something special. We all know with Lamar Jackson out there, this team is really freaking good, and special things can happen. He can will this team to a Super Bowl. I don’t think he’s thinking about it that way.”
Jackson hasn’t played since he went down with a knee issue during the Week 13 game against the Denver Broncos, and the Most Valuable Player for the 2019 season took to Twitter Thursday to say he has a Grade 2 PCL strain “on the borderline of a strain 3” that includes “inflammation surrounding my knee” and his knee being “unstable.” Jackson added that he “can’t give a 100% of myself to my guys and fans” but said he’s “still hopeful we still have a chance” against the Bengals.
As ESPN’s Jamison Hensley noted, backup Tyler Huntley or third-choice option Anthony Brown will start in Jackson’s place at Paycor Stadium on Sunday night unless the 26-year-old experiences a change of heart over the weekend.
Jackson remains in the final months of his rookie contract after he and the Ravens failed to sign an extension before Week 1. Watkins openly suggested Jackson not having a guaranteed deal beyond the end of the current NFL year in March is impacting his status for Sunday.
“I think the world is ready to see Lamar back on the field, doing what he do best, and get all the stipulations and contract stuff behind him,” Watkins said. “I pray somebody talks to him like, ‘Man, just sign the deal.’ You know what I mean? And he get out there and hopefully, if . . . he’s healthy, he can just come play this Sunday. We all know that’s up to Lamar and whatever goes on. Hopefully, they get something done.”
Watkins also said that he hopes “a coach or somebody” reaches out to Jackson and that the signal-caller “decides to play.” That seemingly would indicate the Ravens hadn’t ruled Jackson out as of the time Watkins spoke.
According to ESPN stats, Jackson ended the regular season tied for 15th among qualified quarterbacks with a 91.1 passer rating and ninth with a 59.4 total QBR. He threw 17 touchdown passes and seven interceptions across fewer than 12 completed games, and he was second among quarterbacks with 764 rushing yards. He also rushed for three additional scores.
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Publish Date:2023-01-14 13:53:47