One of the reasons given for Jackson not making the list is injury questions, with one coach saying it’s “hard to stay healthy when you run that much,” and a personnel evaluator stating, “for as much as you run him, you could get worn down.”
While it is true that Jackson’s play style could lead to more hits, he does a particularly good job of avoiding them, and the play in which he did get injured last year came when he rolled his ankle on the foot of a defender who hit him as he threw — something which could happen to any quarterback.
What’s more, the idea that he gets worn down as the season goes along, is not even remotely true. In fact, in his three full Decembers played in the NFL, Jackson had the second-highest Quarterback Rating in the league in the league behind only Patrick Mahomes.
But the most frustrating thing is the double standard given to his play style in comparison to other quarterbacks on this list.
Joe Burrow and Deshaun Watson notoriously hold on to the ball too long, have taken approximately 21,457 combined career sacks, and have both already torn their ACLs in the NFL, but there was no mention of injury risk in either of their blurbs.
In fact, the number of hits Burrow takes was viewed as a positive by an NFL coach who said “On the plays where you have to hang in the pocket and you know you have to wait that extra split-second to get the ball on time, knowing you’ll probably take a hit, he’ll stand in there and wait And teammates love him for that, I promise you.”
While that statement may be true in a vacuum, the same could be said for a quarterback who tries to get an extra yard for a first down, but Jackson never gets that benefit of the doubt. He is labeled as an injury risk despite the fact that he takes better care of his body and has never had a serious injury, while Burrow is labeled as tough.
And beyond those two quarterbacks, there are other guys on the list with injury risks as well.
Dak Prescott lost much of his mobility due to an injury sustained running where his bone literally stuck out of his leg and sustained a calf injury that stuck with him all last year, but there is no mention of injury risk with him either.
Matthew Stafford is seemingly always injured, and Aaron Rodgers played much of last season with a broken toe.
This is not to celebrate any of these injuries or hope that these guys get hurt in the future- as a football fan and just a decent human I hope all of those guys can stay healthy.
This is simply to point out that a double standard exists when out of all these quarterbacks, Lamar Jackson is the one who is labeled an injury risk.