Jan 16, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs with the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter of an AFC Divisional Round game at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

John Harbaugh: ‘Totally certain’ of Lamar Jackson deal

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh on Wednesday said he’s “totally certain” the team will reach a new contract with star quarterback Lamar Jackson.

In his season-ending press conference, Harbaugh said he and general manager Eric DeCosta have discussed the long-term future for Jackson, who is eligible to sign a new contract after playing three seasons in the league.

“Eric and I have talked about that and other contracts, so I’m very confident that Eric and those guys will do a great job,” Harbaugh said. “Absolutely, we want Lamar to sign a long-term deal and be with us. I’m totally certain that’s going to happen. When it happens, that’s the details. That’s what we’ve got to figure out.”

Harbaugh said the 24-year-old Jackson is still working through the effects of the concussion he sustained in the Ravens’ season-ending loss to Buffalo in last week’s AFC divisional playoff game.

Jackson finished the season with 2,757 yards passing to go with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He rushed for 1,005 yards and seven TDs, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. It’s was his second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season.

Harbaugh also pledged to keep strength and conditioning coach Steve Saunders, whose breach of COVID-19 protocols helped fuel the outbreak on the team. Harbaugh said Saunders apologized to the team after returning from his suspension following the breach.

“I don’t plan on any staff changes unless guys decide they have better opportunities elsewhere,” Harbaugh said.

–Field Level Media

Jan 16, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs with the ball as Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes (55) pursues during the first half of an AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens QB Jackson injured, will not return vs. Bills

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson departed Saturday night’s playoff game against the Buffalo Bills and will not return.

Jackson was hurt on the final play of the third quarter with Baltimore trailing 17-3. The Ravens said Jackson was in the concussion protocol and ruled him out for the rest of the game.

Jackson completed 14 of 24 passes for 162 yards and one interception and rushed for 34 yards on nine carries. His interception was returned 101 yards for a touchdown by Taron Johnson in the third quarter.

Jackson was injured after chasing a poor snap by center Patrick Mekari and wildly throwing the ball out of bounds from his own 2-yard line. He landed hard on the turf and needed help from the training staff and was taken to the locker room for evaluation.

Rookie Tyler Huntley replaced Jackson. Huntley threw five regular-season passes.

–Field Level Media

Jan 10, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) picks up a first down in the fourth quarter during the Tennessee Titans game against the Baltimore Ravens. Mandatory Credit: George Walker/The Tennessean via USA TODAY Sports

Weather could play role in Ravens-Bills showdown

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson heard mention of snow in the forecast for Saturday in Buffalo and he immediately became fearful of a playing surface that may cause tough sledding for his speedy feet.

Jackson might have to cope with such conditions when the fifth-seeded Ravens battle the second-seeded Buffalo Bills in an AFC divisional matchup on Saturday night in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Early forecasts call for a 40 percent chance of snow and up to an inch of accumulation.

“That definitely would be my first time playing football in the snow — Saturday, if it does (snow),” said Jackson, a native of Pompano Beach, Fla.. “Hopefully, it doesn’t.”

Jackson is more interested in using his wheels on non-slippery terrain when he attempts to lead the Ravens past Josh Allen and the Bills.

Buffalo edged the Indianapolis Colts 27-24 last weekend in the wild-card round while the Ravens ousted the Tennessee Titans 20-13.

The playoff victory was the first for the Bills since Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas engineered a 37-22 win over the Miami Dolphins in a wild-card matchup on Dec. 30, 1995.

Allen made it clear that the Bills didn’t arrive just to win one game and head into the offseason satisfied.

“It doesn’t matter what we did — it’s back to 0-0,” Allen said. “They’re 0-0 and they’re coming into our house. We got another home game, and we have to prepare and get ready to go.”

The overwhelming belief is that this encounter will be decided by the quarterbacks.

Allen, in his third season, had the breakthrough campaign many anticipated, setting franchise records with 4,544 yards and 37 touchdown passes. He added 421 yards and eight scores on the ground.

He was on his game against the Colts, completing 26 of 35 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns. Allen also ran for 54 yards and one score on 11 carries.

Jackson, also part of the 2018 draft class, was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2019. This season, he passed for 2,757 yards and 26 touchdowns and rushed for 1,005 yards and seven scores. He is the first quarterback in NFL history to top 1,000 rushing yards in consecutive seasons.

Jackson connected on 17 of 24 passes for 179 yards and one interception against the Titans. He did his real damage with his legs, rushing for 136 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries.

The touchdown came on a 48-yard scamper after Jackson dropped back to pass.

“Those are the type of plays that keep defensive coordinators up at night,” Bills defense coordinator Leslie Frazier said, “when you see that, when guys are in position and they aren’t able to make that play because that player is so special on the other side.

“Lamar has done that in his short NFL career to the point where he’s been an MVP already. He’s capable of making you look bad at times. You just gotta be able to keep working and hopefully be able to corral him at some point.”

The Bills were able to lasso Jackson a few times in last season’s meeting at Buffalo. He managed just 40 yards on 11 rushes with a long of 16 yards, but Baltimore won the game 24-17 as Jackson threw for three touchdowns while accumulating 145 passing yards. Allen passed for 146 yards and a score.

While the Bills are slight favorites, the Ravens certainly don’t view themselves as underdogs. Last weekend, they shut down Tennessee 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry (40 yards on 18 carries) and they have a deeper recent history of playing in big games than Buffalo does.

“We’ve got a team full of tough players who are going to go to battle and who are going to scratch and claw for each other,” Baltimore cornerback Marcus Peters said. “It’s an organizational DNA built for January, which is exactly why the Ravens are the playoff team no one is excited to see.”

Peters (back) and linebacker Matthew Judon (illness) didn’t participate in Baltimore’s walkthrough on Tuesday. Among the Buffalo players who were limited in practice were receivers Stefon Diggs (oblique) and Cole Beasley (knee) and defensive tackle Ed Oliver (ankle).

The Bills also placed running back Zack Moss (ankle) on injured reserve, leaving Devin Singletary as the main ball carrier.

–Field Level Media

Jan 10, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs with the ball while defended by Tennessee Titans cornerback Adoree' Jackson (25) during the third quarter in a AFC Wild Card playoff game at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson runs into NFL record book

Quarterback Lamar Jackson etched his name in the NFL record book while leading the Baltimore Ravens to a 20-13 win over the host Tennessee Titans in an AFC wild-card game on Sunday in Nashville, Tenn.

“It feels great,” Jackson told ESPN about his first playoff win in three attempts. “I’m happy we got it done.”

Jackson’s 48-yard touchdown run was the second-longest for a score by a quarterback in NFL postseason history. It trails only Colin Kaepernick’s 56-yard sprint in the San Francisco 49ers’ game against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC divisional round in 2013.

Jackson now holds two of the top three rushing performances by a quarterback in NFL playoff history. His 136 rushing yards on Sunday are third-most by a quarterback in a playoff game, behind Kaepernick’s 181 against the Packers in 2013 and Jackson’s 143 he posted in last year’s loss to the Titans in the divisional round. Kaepernick rushed for 130 yards for the 49ers against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2014 NFC Championship game.

However, Jackson and Kaepernick are the only quarterbacks to eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark and score at least a touchdown. Michael Vick, who amassed 119 yards rushing against the then-St. Louis Rams in the 2005 divisional round, and Donovan McNabb, who rushed for 107 yards in 2003 against the Packers in the divisional round, each rushed for at least 100 yards but didn’t run into the end zone.

Jackson completed 17 of 24 passes for 179 yards with an interception against the Titans.

“We finished. We finished,” Jackson told ESPN after the game. “We finally finished.”

Last week, Jackson became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in multiple seasons while leading the Ravens to their third straight AFC playoff berth with a 38-3 win over the host Cincinnati Bengals. The victory enabled Jackson to become the fastest quarterback in league history to win 30 games, doing so in his 37th start.

Jackson rushed for 1,005 yards and seven touchdowns during the regular season.

Jackson rushed for an NFL quarterback-record 1,206 last year in his first full year as a starter, en route to becoming the youngest quarterback to be named NFL MVP.

The mark eclipsed Vick’s record of 1,039, which he set in 2006 — the only season in which he broke 1,000 yards.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) defended by Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Darius Phillips (23) during the first quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson first QB to rush for consecutive 1,000-yard seasons

Lamar Jackson became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons while leading the Baltimore Ravens against the host Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Jackson, 23, rushed for 97 yards on 11 carries Sunday to give him 1,005 yards for the season. The reigning NFL MVP also completed 10 of 18 passes for 113 yards with three touchdowns and an interception before being pulled late in the third quarter with his team holding a 31-3 lead.

The Ravens could clinch their third straight trip to the playoffs with a victory over the Bengals.

Jackson entered the game needing 92 rushing yards to reach 1,000.

Jackson rushed for an NFL quarterback-record 1,206 yards last year in his first full year as a starter. The mark eclipsed Michael Vick’s record of 1,039, which he set in 2006 — the only season in which he broke 1,000 yards.

–Field Level Media

Dec 14, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns cornerback Kevin Johnson (28) chases Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens QB Jackson leaves MNF game vs. Browns

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson wasn’t on the field for the team’s first drive of the fourth quarter in Monday night’s game against the host Cleveland Browns due to cramping issues.

The team said Jackson was questionable to return.

Trace McSorley took over for the Ravens, who were leading 34-28 at the time. Baltimore went three-and-out during McSorley’s first possession and punted the ball back to the Browns, who scored on the ensuing possession to take a 35-34 lead.

Jackson rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries, and completed 6 of 11 passes for 81 yards before heading back to the locker room for treatment.

–Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens  quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) warms up prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens QB Jackson activated from reserve/COVID-19 list

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced Monday.

The reigning NFL MVP was not alone, as the Ravens also activated fullback Patrick Ricard, long snapper Morgan Cox and defensive tackle Justin Madubuike from the list.

The moves come one day ahead of the Ravens’ clash against the visiting Dallas Cowboys (3-8).

Jackson, 23, tested positive for COVID-19 on Thanksgiving and sat out Baltimore’s 19-14 setback to Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The loss was the third straight for the Ravens (6-5).

“So, he’s really lockstep, each and every step through,” Baltimore offensive coordinator Greg 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.”

Jackson has thrown for 1,948 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions in 10 games this season. He has also rushed for a team-leading 575 yards and three scores.

Trace McSorley will serve as the primary backup to Jackson after Robert Griffin III was placed on injured reserve on Friday with an ailing hamstring.

–Field Level Media