Ravens QB Lamar Jackson coaches Wednesday, expects to start against Browns after battle with illness - The Mercury News | MCU Times

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson coaches Wednesday, expects to start against Browns after battle with illness – The Mercury News

This time, Lamar Jackson said he was safe.

The last time Ravens quarterback spoke in public, he was fine after finishing Friday training in preparation for the Chicago Bears. The illness that had kept him off the field the previous two days seemed to be in retreat.

It returned with revenge later that night, leaving Jackson sweating and shivering in his sleep. When game day dawned in Chicago, he was not in shape to play. He wrapped himself in a heavy coat and watched from the gym as his backup, Tyler Huntley, led the Ravens to one 16-13 comeback victory.

Jackson, who has not revealed what his ailment was, was back to his routine on Wednesday, slinging passes in practice and giving positive statements to reporters.

“I’m positive. I’m sure. No relapse,” he said, laughing as he alluded to his roller coaster health week heading into the Bears game.

He said he has no doubt he will be ready to start against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium. “I do not want to talk about the disease,” he said. “I’m fine now.… I think I’m all back to normal. I want to go out there and just go.”

This season has taken unusual turns for Jackson, who started out playing brilliantly but has missed four workouts with three different illness cases. He appears to be shaken by his health problems, acknowledging that his battle with COVID-19 at the start of training camp could have made him more vulnerable, though he does not know if that is true.

“That’s a good question; I have no answer, “he said.

Jackson has tested positive for the virus twice, first in week 12 of the 2020 season and again in July.

He reiterated that he rarely struggled with illness before this year, saying, “I’m not worried about it because I’ve been healthy all my life.

Despite missing the Bears game, Jackson ranks No. 13 in the NFL in passing and ninth in rushing. He has led the Ravens to four comebacks in the fourth quarter and first place in AFC North.

His encounter with the Browns will be his first since The Ravens rallied to a 47-42 victory in Cleveland December last year. Jackson disappeared for a while of the second half as he tried to overcome debilitating cramps but came out of the tunnel just in time to finish the Browns with a couple of goals. Even by Jackson’s dazzling standards, he made something of a show for the “Monday Night Football” audience.

“The cramps,” he said when asked what he remembered from that night. “My whole body was cramping. [Then] scores back and forth, both teams. It was just a competitive game, one to remember. ”

He will renew his individual rivalry with Brown quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was selected 31 places ahead of him in the 2018 draft. While Jackson has struggled with his immune system, Mayfield has played through a wide range of injuries, including a torn labrum and fractures in his shoulder that do not fold. He slammed Browns fans this week after completing just 15 of 29 passes and throwing two interceptions in his team’s narrow victory Sunday over the undefeated Detroit Lions. He added that he was “frustrated” by his poor performance.

NBC analyst and former Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees said the injuries have changed Mayfield’s throwing mechanics.

“It definitely affects it,” Brees said at a conference call Tuesday. “I saw him – the game that he came back from after an injury, I remember I saw right in the prelude, they had the camera on him, and talked about him coming back and that he was wearing the shoulder harness. And I just see him throw and I’m like man, it’s another throwing motion.Like his mechanics have changed a bit based on the fact that he does not have the same range of motion as what he would typically do with his front, with his left side . ”

The former No. 1 overall pick ranks 27th in ESPN’s QBR, a measure of all-around quarterback performance, and some Browns fans have urged backup Case Keenum to step in.

“Baker Mayfield is a starting quarterback; that’s the one we want to prepare for, ”said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “We have tremendous respect for him and what he is capable of doing, what he has done.”

Brees has not spent as much time studying Jackson’s performance this year, but has admired Raven’s quarterback since joining the league, in part because Brees’ eldest son, Baylen, is a fan of # 8.

“I have admired his journey so far and I have seen that attack build up around him and his skills,” Brees said. “He has a unique set of skills, and with all that they also went through early in the season where they lost so many guys to injuries, especially running backs, I think that shows that the offensive revolves around him. And you can connect a lot of other pieces. As long as you have him, he can make it work. ”

Jackson was upset when he saw the Ravens take the field without him in Chicago, but he took comfort in watching Huntley, his former high school rival in South Florida, successfully seize the reins.

“I had the big old jacket wrapped around me while I watched the fight,” Jackson said. “And when he drove the last ride, I felt like I was not sick anymore.”

Week 12

BROWNS @ RAVENS

Sunday, 20.20

TV: Chs. 11, 4 Radio: 97.9 FM, 1090 AM

Line: Ravne with 3 ½

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