During the plane ride to Chicago for the Ravens’ matchup against the Bears on Sunday afternoon, cornerback Marlon Humphrey knew quarterback Lamar Jackson was not feeling well.
Jackson had been battling a non-COVID illness all week and questions swirled about whether the former NFL Most Valuable Player would follow suit. Humphrey, on the other hand, looked like the Ravens would be without their top playmaker before the team’s injury report was dormant.
“the plane lands – [Jackson] The plane didn’t even know it landed,” Humphrey said. “He was very ill at the time.”
Before the bus ride to the stadium, Jackson texted backup quarterback Tyler Huntley saying, “Go do your job today. I’m going to see.”
Huntley was able to lead the Ravens to a 16–13 comeback victory over the Bears early in his career. But the biggest concern for the Ravens was Jackson’s status.
Jackson missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday due to an illness, but he returned to the field on Friday and said he was feeling great. Suddenly, all the symptoms that kept him away from practice reappeared and jeopardized his position for Sunday’s game.
“They had yesterday,” coach John Harbaugh said after Sunday’s game. “He was on the plane. He didn’t go to meetings at night. We thought he’d wake up this morning probably feeling better and he didn’t. He felt worse.”
Harbaugh said Jackson’s illness is not COVID or influenza and does not believe it is long-term. “I’m sure they’ll keep testing him if it doesn’t become clear,” Harbaugh said. “But you have to think that it will be cleared. We will pray for it.”
Harbaugh said he hoped Jackson could play, but he got a text from quarterback coach James Urban and it was not good.
“He wasn’t in shape to play and compete in an NFL game,” Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh said Jackson felt good after the game, as he was in the locker room looking forward to flying back with the team.
“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Harbaugh said.
From the handful of players appearing on injury reports to the ill-fated Jackson, center Bradley Bozeman and wide receiver Rashod Bateman, Humphrey called it a week strange.
“All these game-time decisions didn’t go in our favor,” Humphrey said. “So it was definitely weird. I think it was pretty tough, but I thought once we got through the pregame, everyone knew, ‘Hey, this is what we’ve got. That’s all we need. And we left from there.”