Ravens QB Lamar Jackson faces an “uphill battle” to play in Wild Card round

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson could be set to miss the Wild Card round against the Cincinnati Bengals, marking his sixth straight missed game.

The star quarterback sprained his PCL against the Denver Broncos back in Week 13 and has yet to appear in practice since. Wednesday’s practice report will reveal whether Jackson can at least practice in a limited capacity.

There were high hopes that Jackson would return from injury in time for the playoffs, but at this stage, it doesn’t seem like he’s healthy enough to play.

NFL’s Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday that “it’s not looking good” for Lamar Jackson. Per Rapoport’s sources, Jackson is “working, he’s trying, he’s rehabbing, but he’s just not quite right,” and the quarterback is now facing an “uphill battle” to recover in time for Sunday’s game against the Bengals.

Jackson’s teammate, Roquan Smith, just locked up a huge extension on Tuesday, raising questions as to why the Ravens would pay a linebacker over their franchise quarterback.

Ravens’ Lamar Jackson is racing against the clock to play in Wild Card game vs. Bengals

In Jackson’s case, forget the contract deadlock right now. He isn’t the type of player to hold out, and NFL’s Jim Trotter gives arguably the best take on Jackson’s ongoing injury situation:

“There’s really not a lot you can do physically if [Jackson] isn’t ready. And clearly, he’s not ready.”

Trotter describes Jackson’s injury — a PCL sprain — as more serious than it initially seemed, saying that even if Jackson returns to the field he wouldn’t be the same player.

Jackson’s original recovery timetable was one to three weeks, but that was then changed to four to six weeks as far as Baltimore’s team trainers and physicians were concerned.

It’s easy to point at Jackson’s contract standoff and his absence on the field, connect the two, and assume that Jackson is simply holding out for a top-dollar extension. Per Trotter’s beliefs, however, this is truly about Jackson’s health and “him wanting to be right so that he can perform for his teammates.”

The issue thus boils down to whether Jackson is healthy enough for the playoffs, rather than whether Jackson wants to play for the playoffs. The former remains clouded in uncertainty; the latter is very well-defined.

Stay tuned for more updates.