OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Lamar Jackson will make his much-anticipated debut at Ravens training camp by this weekend.
Jackson has yet to take a snap because he contracted COVID-19 just prior to the practices.
"Lamar is a 10-day. So, you just have to go back and count your days," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He gets a little closer … Friday or Saturday? I’ll plan for Friday – plan for the best and we’ll see.”
Jackson had tested negative for days until testing positive the day prior training camp. Running back Gus Edwards also tested positive last week.
"It's just part of the deal. It's just the way the world is right now," Harbaugh said.
In addition, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan recommended that Jackson get vaccinated.
"With the rules the NFL put down, I can't imagine a team wanting to forfeit a game or lose a chance at the playoffs and none of the players getting paid because someone won't get a vaccine,” Hogan told WBAL Radio.
As a rule, unvaccinated Covid positive tests put a player out at least 10 days. Jackson declined to tell reporters earlier this offseason if he was vaccinated.
Overall, the Ravens' vaccination rate is in the 90 percent range and rising.
Jackson also tested positive for COVID-19 last year and missed the Ravens' game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in late November. Jackson was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list about two weeks later and returned for Baltimore's next game against the Dallas Cowboys.
However, Jackson had lingering effects from the illness.
“I had little flu-like symptoms," Jackson said. "I still can’t really taste or smell, but I’m good now. That’s an effect [of COVID-19] that comes. I guess my sense of taste and smell are going to come back sooner than later, but I’m good now. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody, though. It’s not good to have.”
It's still to be determined if the latest positive test will have any impact on him.
Jackson is entering his fourth year as the Ravens starting quarterback and expectations are soaring.
Jackson silenced many critics by winning the first playoff game of his young career last season at Tennessee. Still, he has his detractors that claim his style of play can’t win a Super Bowl.
The Ravens are once again among the favorites to win a title and Jackson is continuing to evolve as a quarterback.
“I’m going to try to be more of a vocal leader,” Jackson said at the recent OTAs. “I always say that, but I’ve got to start presenting it how it should, [how] the guys are wanting me to sometimes. But lead by example, work hard. We’re trying not to make mistakes. If we do make a mistake, we’re going to repeat it until it’s right.
“We’re trying to perfect our craft. We’re trying to be perfect out there, even though some things are not going to be perfect – but we’re trying to make it happen. So, that’s about it – just lead by example.”
The biggest storyline of the offseason is whether Jackson and the Ravens will agree to a contract extension. The two sides have talked about a new deal and negotiations will likely heat up in the coming weeks.