Ravens: There’s no reason for Lamar Jackson to play this Saturday

Ravens, Lamar Jackson Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Lamar Jackson Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens opted to hold star quarterback Lamar Jackson out of the team’s preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints last week.

The decision made sense given that Jackson had only recently returned from a COVID-related absence and was still working his way back into playing condition.

This was coupled with the fact that the team was missing a number of players on the offensive side of the ball including many of their top offensive linemen and wide receivers.

It was a rather obvious choice that didn’t require much thought. But what about this week?

The Ravens should not play Lamar Jackson in this week’s preseason game

The Ravens have not announced whether they will be playing Jackson in this week’s game. Head coach John Harbaugh was hesitant to answer one way or another when speaking to the media this week.

But the answer seems rather straightforward once again.

It’s not as if Jackson isn’t ready to play. His bout with COVID-19 is in the past and he’s been practicing fully with the team for quite some time now.

Rather, there really isn’t any reason for him to play. Especially with even more of his supporting cast likely sidelined for this Saturday.

Ronnie Stanley won’t play this weekend. Possibly one or two more offensive linemen will also be sidelined. Jackson will be without six of his top seven or eight wide receivers. His top two tight ends will also be out.

What reason is there for Jackson to suit up? He won’t be able to develop chemistry with his receivers and his offensive line will be missing multiple starters.

If anything, putting Jackson in that situation would be setting him up to fail. Or worse, risking injury.

Teams around the NFL have opted to rest their quarterbacks for the majority of the preseason for that exact reason. Why risk injury in a meaningless exhibition game when there is little to gain?

Lamar Jackson could play a few series in the team’s final preseason game next week, hopefully when more of his teammates on the offensive side of the ball are healthy.

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As for this week, it’s best that he remains on the sideline once again.