Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson limped off the field early in the second quarter of Sunday’s 24-22 loss against the Cleveland Browns and was carted into the locker room with an ankle injury.
Jackson briefly remained down on the field after being tackled from behind by Browns rookie linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah during a second-down completion to tight end Mark Andrews. Jackson was helped off the field and carted to the locker room a few moments later with the shoe removed from his right foot.
After the game, coach John Harbaugh said Jackson suffered an ankle sprain, but did not specify how long the quarterback might be sidelined. ESPN reported that Jackson left the stadium in a boot.
“We’ll look at it more tomorrow and see where we’re at,” Harbaugh said.
The Ravens trailed 10-0 when Jackson left and fell behind 24-6 at halftime before making a furious second-half rally that included recovering an onside kick with 1:17 left. Jackson had completed all four of his passes for 17 yards as the Ravens failed to score a touchdown in the first quarter for the seventh straight game.
Tyler Huntley replaced Jackson under center and finished 27-for-38 for 270 yards and a touchdown while nearly leading an improbable comeback. The former undrafted free agent started the Ravens’ 16-13 win over the Chicago Bears in Week 11 when Jackson was ruled out with an illness, completing 26 of 36 passes for 219 yards and an interception. It was his first start in a regular-season game since Dec. 31, 2019, during his final game for Utah.
It’s the first time Jackson has left a game because of injury since suffering a concussion near the end of the Ravens’ 17-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC divisional round last season. He’s missed just two games in his career because of injury or illness, having sat out the Ravens’ thrice-postponed Thanksgiving game against the Pittsburgh Steelers last season after testing positive for COVID-19. Jackson also sat out the Ravens’ regular-season finale against the Steelers in 2019 after clinching the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC before the game.
It’s just the latest blow to a team that’s been decimated by injuries this season. Top running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards and Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters suffered season-ending injuries before Week 1. Starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley played the regular-season opener against the Las Vegas Raiders before being shut down for the season with an ankle injury. Star cornerback Marlon Humphrey is out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle suffered in last week’s loss against the Steelers.
Entering this week, the Ravens had a league-high 22 players on injured reserve and 81 starts missed because of injury.
Jackson, the 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player, has completed 64% of his passes for 2,865 yards with 16 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and has rushed for a team-leading 762 yards. But he’s struggled of late, throwing eight interceptions in his past four games, including four in a 16-10 win over the Browns two weeks ago.
The Ravens have been one of the league’s most successful teams since Jackson replaced Joe Flacco as the full-time starter midway through the 2018 season. The first-round pick is 37-11 in his career as a starter, surpassing Miami Dolphins great Dan Marino for the most wins by a quarterback under the age of 25 since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.