Ravens QB Lamar Jackson considering COVID-19 vaccine, but maintains decision is ‘personal’

JONAS SHAFFER
The Baltimore Sun (TNS)
Lamar Jackson

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson said Monday that he was considering getting vaccinated for the coronavirus after his second positive test in eight months, but that it was a “personal decision” he would reach after consulting with his family and team doctors.

In his first news conference in almost two months, Jackson said his second infection left him fatigued and upset about missing the Ravens’ first eight practices of training camp. But he was still uncertain about whether he would get the vaccine. About 90% of Ravens players were fully vaccinated entering training camp.

“I just got off the COVID list,” said Jackson, who made his debut Saturday and was sharp in his second session Monday. “I got to talk to my team doctors and try to see how they feel about it, keep learning as much as I can about it and we’ll go from there.”

Jackson reported to the team facility in Owings Mills about a week before camp opened, and returned negative tests until July 27, the day before practice started. Under NFL protocols, unvaccinated players must test every day, while vaccinated players are required to test only once every two weeks.

Jackson, who first contracted the virus in November, said he was frustrated to learn he’d been infected a second time. “What the ... ?” he said, gesticulating broadly. “Again? It was crazy. I was heartbroken because I wasn’t looking forward to that at all right before camp. It was like, ‘Not again. Not right now.’ But it’s over with. It’s over with.”

Jackson on Saturday reiterated that he “wouldn’t wish [COVID] on anybody”; he was one of 23 players placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list during an outbreak in Baltimore last season that was the NFL’s worst. When asked why he was then uncertain about the vaccine, which limits the possibility of transmission, he called it a “personal decision.”

“I’m just going to worry about that with my family,” he said. “Keep my feelings to my family and myself. I’m focused on getting better right now. I can’t dwell on that right now, how everybody else feels. Just trying to get back in the right routine.”