Ravens QB Lamar Jackson practices for first time in over two weeks

Lamar Jackson, Ravens (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Lamar Jackson, Ravens (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson returned to practice for the first time since injuring his ankle in a Week 14 loss to the Cleveland Browns. It’s a big first step to getting back into shape for Week 17’s game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Jackson missed the Ravens’ last two games due to what ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported was a bone bruise in his right ankle.

In his absence, Tyler Huntley started under center, performing admirably against the Green Bay Packers in Week 15. Huntley was placed on the COVID-19 list prior to Week 16, leading Baltimore to insert Josh Johnson into the starting role for the Cincinnati Bengals game.

The quarterback merry-go-round may be stopping for now as Jackson seems to be trending toward playing in Week 17 barring any setbacks.

On Wednesday, separated from the rest of the team, Jackson participated in limited fashion and was seen limping throughout drills.

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson suits up for practice, limps around

Head coach John Harbaugh told reporters on Wednesday:

"“I really want to see him out there on Sunday. I know the fans do, and I know that most of all, Lamar does. So, he’s going to do everything he can to be out there. You can’t make a promise, because we don’t know. We don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring; it’s not for us to know. So, I’m hopeful.”"

Of course, the entire Ravens team is “hopeful” that Jackson recovers sooner rather than later.

Against an offensive juggernaut like the Los Angeles Rams, Baltimore will need Jackson to fire on all fronts to give the team a chance at winning the game.

Even when healthy, Jackson was playing some of his worst football prior to his ankle injury. Since Week 10, the quarterback has thrown just three touchdowns against six interceptions.

But Jackson — and the Rams — remember their last meeting all too well. In Jackson’s 2019 MVP season, he threw for five touchdowns to torch the Rams in a 45-6 blowout victory.

The Ravens could use Jackson’s heroics in this upcoming critical playoff-deciding matchup, but if Jackson isn’t healthy enough, Huntley is expected to return from the COVID-19 list on Thursday.

And as a last resort, Baltimore still has a steady backup in the veteran Johnson, who impressed with 304 passing yards and two passing touchdowns against Cincinnati.

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The Ravens, for all intents and purposes, got knocked out of the division picture after losing to Cincinnati last week. With the 2021 postseason window quickly closing, Lamar Jackson will want to be ready to go Sunday night.