Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s 27-carry performance Sunday prompted much consternation and conversation about whether such a workload would threaten the rookie’s long-term health.
As it turns out, the Cincinnati Bengals might have also been threatening his health, quite literally. Jackson said Wednesday that during the Ravens’ win, Bengals players “kept saying, ‘We’re going to hurt you! We’re going to hurt you! This is the NFL!’ ”
Jackson, as is his style, just laughed it off.
“I was like, ‘All right, all right,’ ” he recalled. “I finally said something back, but I don’t remember what I said. I was like, ‘All right.’ Then, after that, they didn’t say nothing else. I just start laughing at it.”
Jackson’s claims were just the latest salvo in an unexpected week of barbed words between the AFC North foes. After Sunday’s win, Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis remarked, “Quarterbacks don't run forever in the NFL. Sooner or later, they get hurt, and they don't run the same.” And on Monday, video emerged of Marshal Yanda spitting as he stood over Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict; the Ravens guard said Wednesday that he was spitting on the ground.
As a high-profile rookie, Jackson said he’s not surprised he’s being targeted verbally and physically.
“[They try to] get in my head, talking crap, [but] that’s not going to work,” Jackson said. “I play football; that’s what it’s all about. It’s about winning games, putting your team in great situations. It’s not about talking trash, who can talk trash the most. I don’t do that. I play ball.”