Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson ranks second on the Ravens in rushing attempts (17) and rushing yards (72) this preseason, but the team would rather see Jackson avoid taking such risks.
The organization’s second of two first-round selections in April’s NFL draft has also been sacked six times, which leads all NFL quarterbacks in the preseason. He was taken down only once behind the line of scrimmage in Monday night’s 20-19 win at the Indianapolis Colts, but he carried the ball four times for 26 yards and was even upended by cornerback Quincy Wilson in the second quarter.
The frequency of the hits Jackson has absorbed in three preseason games has raised a red flag with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
“Yeah, that’s not good,” he said Wednesday. “You see what I’m saying? It’s just that simple. Between the numbers now, we want to get down underneath the hits unless you think you can score, and typically you’re one-on-one. Outside the numbers, we want to get up and get out. And we’d rather get down a step too early than a step too late or get up and out a step too early than a step too late.”
Jackson finished his Louisville career sixth in Football Bowl Subdivision history in career rushing yards (4,132) and became the only player in FBS history to run for 1,500 yards and pass for 3,500 in the same season, which he did in 2016 and 2017.
At 6 feet 2 and 212 pounds, Jackson is no wallflower, but he’s not built like 6-5, 245-pound Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. Mornhinweg said Jackson will learn how to decipher when it makes sense to put his body in danger.
“As you can see, that’s an ongoing process,” he said. “Some of it is experience because he does have to filter through exactly what he can get away with and what he can’t in this league. It’s a little different situation here, a little different league, a little different speed, a little different quickness — all those things. So that’s an important note, and he’s working hard on that.”
Injury updates: In addition to Stanley and Hurst, the team practiced Wednesday without rookie tight end Mark Andrews (undisclosed), cornerback Maurice Canady (muscle strain in right leg), running back Kenneth Dixon (unspecified), safety Bennett Jackson (undisclosed) and rookie inside linebacker Alvin Jones (unspecified). Wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo (upper leg muscle), linebacker Bam Bradley (ACL) and cornerback Jaylen Hill (right ACL, MCL) remain on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
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Extra points: Special teams coordinator and associate head coach Jerry Rosburg capped his news conference by singling out former Ravens linebacker Edgar Jones, who served as coaching intern until Monday night’s game. “Today is the first day we didn’t have our intern, Edgar Jones, here,” Rosburg said. “So just a shout-out to EJ. As you all know, Edgar was a great player for us on special teams and outside linebacker. He even played tight end. The internship program we have here with the Ravens, this is what it’s meant for. He was so valuable to our young players and to us as a staff. EJ did a great job, and he’s got a bright future. Thank you, Edgar.” … A pair of former Ravens in tight end Todd Heap and fullback Le’Ron McClain attended practice.