OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has proven adept at eluding pass-rushers and defensive linemen, but apparently not illness.
Jackson missed practice Friday because he was once again sick, but coach John Harbaugh expressed confidence that the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback will start Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.
“He’ll be fine,” Harbaugh said after practice. “He tried to get to practice but he was just too sick.”
Asked if he’ll play Sunday, Harbaugh replied, “Oh yeah.”
It was a surprise when Jackson was not present at practice but the reason was not a shock. This marked the sixth time that Jackson has been sidelined by illness in the regular season since the start of the 2021 season. Last November, Jackson couldn’t play a Week 11 game in Chicago because he was too sick and backup Tyler Huntley led Baltimore to a 16-13 win over the Bears.
Last year, Jackson said he wasn’t worried about the number of times he has been sick.
“I’ve been healthy all my life,” Jackson said at the time. “I never had problems being ill at all until I’m here. So I don’t really know what that is.”
This is the first practice that Jackson has missed this year. He had been limited in two practices in 2022 (right elbow injury in Week 3 and hip injury in Week 7).
The first-place Ravens (6-3) are favored by 13 points over the Panthers (3-6), the biggest spread of the week. Jackson, who has never faced Carolina, is 26-2 in his first start against a team in his career. That’s the best record since 1950 among quarterbacks to start against at least 20 different teams, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.
If Jackson were unable to play, Huntley would make his fifth career start.