Ravens downplaying Lamar Jackson's absence at OTAs is the right move

Fans need to take a chill pill.
Baltimore Ravens v Washington Commanders
Baltimore Ravens v Washington Commanders / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens have been putting rubber to the road at OTAs, as it has set the stage for both unheralded backups and prized draft picks to make their names as key contributors for the upcoming season. One player who is not available is reigning MVP and starting quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Not only was Jackson not present for the majority of OTAs (which are voluntary), but he was the only projected starter on either side of the ball not to show up. While this would normally be cause for alarm, head coach John Harbaugh isn't paying it too much mind.

“It’s this time of year,” Harbaugh said Thursday. “It’s really not something that we comment on. We can’t, and that’s just the time of year it is. So, I can’t speak for anybody that’s not here.” The Ravens have four more OTA practices before mandatory minicamp begins in June.

While it may not be ideal to have your MVP quarterback and top leader of the team skipping these practices, it doesn't seem like the organization is in a state of complete panic as a result of this.

Lamar Jackson's absence at Baltimore Ravens OTAs downplayed by John Harbaugh

Players skipping OTAs is nothing new, but one of the main motivations for missing out on these practices is financial. With Jackson in the second year of a $260 million contract that makes him one of the highest-paid players in the league, it doesn't seem like money is his main factor for missing out.

Unless Jackson got into the crazy pills and decided to neglect his duty to keep himself in prime shape, he is assuredly doing some workouts on the side that he and the multiple fitness gurus in his orbit have decided work for him. When the season rolls around, he'll be ready.

When Jackson, who slimmed down to 205 pounds in an attempt to get more elusive, does return, he will come back to a team ready to win a championship. Even with a new-look offensive line, Jackson and Derrick Henry are expected to rank as one of the league's best offenses.

While it would be ideal for Jackson to show up, the generally unconcerned attitude from Harbaugh and the rest of the Ravens should give fans some insight into how seriously they are taking this. To their knowledge, Jackson will be ready to unleash his usual blend of excellence whenever he reports to Ravens practices.