When Lamar Jackson missed the Ravens’ final six games last season, many thought the star quarterback was prioritizing his future over the present.
Seemingly no one doubted Jackson suffered a knee injury, which he sustained in early December, but there were questions about his inactivity across the final month-plus of the season. It reached a fever pitch going into Baltimore’s wild-card matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, which Tyler Huntley started in place of Jackson.
Jackson, who’s amid an ongoing contract dispute, took to Twitter on Tuesday night to refute the idea that he sat out those six games to avoid further injury and thus keep himself in a better position to land a new deal.
“I don’t remember me sitting out on my guys week 1 vs jets To week 12 vs Broncos,” Jackson tweeted. “How come all of a sudden I sit out because of money in which I could’ve got hurt at any time within that time frame when we know the Super Bowl been on my mind since April 2018?
“Let’s get real. I rather have a 100% PCL than go out there and play horrible forcing myself to put my guys in a bad situation now that’s selfish to me.”
Jackson makes a fair point. If he was overwhelmingly concerned about keeping himself healthy in a contract year, he could have staged a holdout for the entire campaign. Instead, he quarterbacked a team that had legitimate Super Bowl aspirations when he was on the field.
That said, missing six games didn’t do him any favors in quelling questions about his durability. Time will tell if a team will get over that uncertainty and pay the 2019 NFL MVP the money he’s looking for.