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Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson reportedly expected to start vs. Cowboys

JONAS SHAFFER
The Baltimore Sun (TNS)
Lamar Jackson

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is reportedly expected to start in Tuesday’s must-win game against the Dallas Cowboys, even as coach John Harbaugh declined to say whether he practiced Sunday.

Jackson, who tested positive for the coronavirus on Thanksgiving Day, missed the Ravens’ loss Wednesday to the Pittsburgh Steelers and has not officially been activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list.

But with his mandatory 10-day self-quarantine ending Saturday, the NFL’s reigning Most Valuable Player was expected to participate in the team’s practice Sunday and walk-through Monday. The Ravens closed practice to reporters Sunday after moving it indoors. Harbaugh said the team didn’t want to “fight the wind”; according to Weather Underground, the average wind speed just before 1 p.m. Sunday was 17 mph.

Jackson has remained involved with the team’s game plan for Tuesday. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Saturday that he’s been “fully engaged” in virtual meetings, from studying film to reviewing practice.

“So he’s really [in] lockstep, each and every step through,” Roman said. “The only thing he can’t do is, obviously, be here at the facility and actually take part in it. But mentally, he’s right on it.”

If Jackson is unable to play Tuesday, the Ravens would turn to third-stringer Trace McSorley, who went 2-for-6 for 77 yards in his NFL debut Wednesday. Backup Robert Griffin III was placed on injured reserve Friday with a thigh injury suffered in Pittsburgh and will miss at least the next three games.

Jackson’s return will help a Ravens team that’s lost three straight and needs a late-season run to return to the playoffs. The Cowboys (3-8) are one of four teams with four or fewer wins remaining on the Ravens’ schedule, along with the 1-10 Jacksonville Jaguars (Week 15), 4-7 New York Giants (Week 16) and 2-8 Cincinnati Bengals (Week 17).

The Ravens will also face the Cleveland Browns (8-3) in Week 14.