Ravens: Lamar Jackson returns to practice, on track to play in Week 4

Ravens, Lamar Jackson Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Lamar Jackson Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Baltimore Ravens fans can breathe a sigh of relief after quarterback Lamar Jackson returned to practice on Friday.

Jackson had sat out the previous two days with what was described as a “sore back” leaving some a little concerned about his status for this Sunday’s game.

The former NFL MVP was sacked a season-high four times in the Ravens’ Week 3 victory over the Detroit Lions and took some hard hits. That likely contributed to his soreness coming out of the game.

However, his injury never seemed to be too serious and Jackson’s “full participant” status on Friday is a direct indication of that.

The Ravens are expected to have their superstar quarterback for their Week 4 meeting against the Denver Broncos and their daunting defense.

The Ravens will have a healthy Lamar Jackson in Week 4

Jackson has never missed a game in his professional career due to injury. He sat out of Week 17 in 2019 after the Ravens had already clinched the No. 1 seed and he was sidelined for a game last year after testing positive for COVID-19.

But if Jackson were to have missed this Sunday’s game, it would have marked the first time in his NFL career that an injury would have forced him to the sidelines.

While the Ravens will have Lamar Jackson, they may be without a number of other key starters.

The likes of cornerback Anthony Averett (ankle), outside linebacker Justin Houston, defensive end Calais Campbell, safety DeShon Elliott (quad), left tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle), and defensive end Wolfe (back) all sat out of Friday’s practice.

It seems likely that the Ravens will be without quite a few of those players on Sunday. Stanley and Wolfe won’t play for sure. It’s hard to believe that Elliott will after sitting out all week. The key player to monitor here is Averett.

The Ravens are already down Marcus Peters and Chris Westry in the secondary, they can ill-afford to lose another starter. Jimmy Smith and Kevon Seymour would be the next-men-up if Averett couldn’t play.

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The Ravens are happy to have Lamar Jackson for this week’s game, but they’ll still be shorthanded.