Video: Ravens Confident Teams Not Trying to Hurt Jackson

Todd Karpovich

OWINGS MILLS, Md.  Are teams targeting Lamar Jackson with late hits?

That was a question raised after the Ravens 20-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 13. 

San Francisco was flagged twice for roughing-the-passer. Ravens coach John Harbaugh also had a heated exchange with 49ers safety Marcell Harris after safety Jimmie Ward appeared to tackle Jackson out of bounds, but there was no penalty.

Harbaugh had a softer stance this week about the hits on Jackson and whether teams were trying to intentionally hurt him. 

"I don’t think it’s new," Harbaugh said. "I don’t think that they want to hurt another player. Certainly, they’d never admit it. No, I don’t think that takes place. I don’t believe it does. They play hard and they want to stop your team. They want to stop your good players. We want to do the same thing on defense. 

"As I said at some point, it’s our job to protect our quarterback. It’s of course his job to protect himself, and he’s done a really good job of that. And it’s the officials’ job to officiate the game according to the rules, and you trust them to do that. So, that’s where we put our faith on that part of it.”

Ravens right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. was also critical of the 49ers. However, Brown sided with Harbaugh and doesn't believe opponents are purposely trying to knock Jackson out of the game. 

“I don't want to sit here and say that anybody is out there really trying to hurt him, because I don't know," said Brown, who leads the Pro-Bowl voting at his position. "I will say that [when] guys make a tackle on him in the open field single-handedly … I mean, I've seen guys celebrate forever. Lamar is a generational talent, in my opinion, running the ball, and a lot of people understand that. 

"And people want to stop him. People want to slow him down and all those different things. People haven't really figured out how to do it yet. I'm sure there isn't an answer. Last week, I think he did take a [few] more hits than he normally does.” 

Baltimore linebacker Josh Bynes hopes opposing players have enough integrity and respect for the to not intentionally someone. 

“I hope that's not the intentions of the other team," he said. "At the end of the day, we play this game. We want to win football games, but I hope guys in this league have the right intentions of not intentionally trying to physically put someone out by doing illegal stuff. I hope that's not in the mindset of a lot of guys in this league. 

"I hope not. But at the end of the day, we just have to not let our emotions take over the game, and then you start doing things that are uncharacteristic. I think we did a good job of that. At the end of the day, we have the ultimate goal, which is to win the game.”