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Baltimore Ravens

‘My knee remains unstable:’ Ravens QB Lamar Jackson addresses injury for first time in series of tweets

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson addressed his injured knee for the first time on Thursday in a series of tweets, writing that he’s been dealing with a Grade 2 injury in his PCL, a ligament in the knee, that is “borderline” Grade 3.

“There is still inflammation surrounding my knee and my knee remains unstable,” Jackson, who has not practiced or played in a game since he injured his left knee against the Denver Broncos on Dec. 4, wrote on Twitter. “I’m still in good spirits, as I continue with treatments on the road to recovery.”

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The chances of Jackson suiting up Sunday night for the Ravens’ wild-card-round playoff matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals were already slim, but Jackson all but confirmed he would officially be out with the tweets.

“I wish I could be out there with my guys more than anything,” he posted, adding he’s “hopeful we still have a chance.”

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The Ravens averaged 25 points in games in which Jackson was the team’s primary quarterback this season, but the offense has slowed in his absence, scoring half that many per game over the final six weeks of the regular season.

Tyler Huntley, Jackson’s backup, has been limited in practice the past two weeks with shoulder and wrist injuries. During the portion of practice open for media viewing, Huntley did not make throws Wednesday, but he did Thursday. If he’s healthy, he’ll be in line to start Sunday; if not, undrafted rookie Anthony Brown would make his second straight start against Cincinnati.

“[Huntley] looked good,” offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Thursday. “He’s progressing. It’s day to day.”

Ravens injured quarterback Lamar Jackson walks off the field after a victory over the Falcons on Dec. 24 at M&T Bank Stadium.

After Jackson hurt his knee during the first half in Week 13, coach John Harbaugh described the injury as “not a season-ending” type of knee injury.

“We’ll see if he can go back this week,” Harbaugh said on Dec. 4. “If not, it’ll be some time after that shortly.”

In the weeks since, fans have awaited and hoped for good news. When asked on Dec. 26 if Jackson would practice that week, Harbaugh said, “we’ll just have to see,” and then said, “really there are no updates” on Jan. 6.

“The truth is we just really don’t know,” Harbaugh said at the time. “I know everybody’s working as hard as they can. Lamar’s working as hard as he can, the trainers are working as hard as they can and [I] can’t wait for him to get back, obviously, just like everybody else.”

Surrounding Jackson’s injury status has been his contract situation. He reportedly sought a fully guaranteed contract in the offseason, but he and the Ravens were unable to come to terms, prompting him to play this season without any future deal in place. Some fans have hypothesized that Jackson is not eager to return for fear of further injury ahead of free agency; were he under contract, that would likely be less of a concern.

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Regardless of contract status, returning from a knee injury can be a daunting task. Dr. R. Frank Henn III, the chief of sports medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a sports medicine physician at the University of Maryland Medical Center said, in some cases, recovering from a PCL injury can take a few weeks, although it can also require months.

“For athletes that need to do a lot of pivoting and cutting [it] can be a little bit harder to recover from than someone who doesn’t,” Henn said last week.

The PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) connects the shinbone to the thighbone, like the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). Although PCL tears are not as severe as ACL tears, they can still render a knee loose and unstable. A Grade 2 PCL injury means there is a partial tear in the ligament, while a Grade 3 classification indicates one that is completely torn.

As Jackson has rehabbed his knee and the Ravens have turned to Huntley and Brown to play quarterback, Baltimore players have conveyed confidence.

“Lamar is one of one,” tight end Mark Andrews said this week, “but you look at the other two guys, ‘Snoop’ [Tyler Huntley] and Anthony Brown, there’s so much to trust in both of them.”

But without Jackson, who has been one of the NFL’s most electric offensive players since he debuted in 2018, the Ravens’ offense has struggled and oddsmakers have shrunk Baltimore’s chances to make a deep postseason run.

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In the six games they’ve played without Jackson, the Ravens haven’t scored more than 17 points. The offense will have at least one more chance to put up a strong outing without the team’s star: the Ravens are set to face the Bengals Sunday at 8:15 p.m. on NBC in the NFL’s wild-card round.

Wild-card round

Ravens at Bengals

Sunday, 8:15 p.m.

TV: Chs. 11, 4

Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM

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Line: Bengals by 10


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