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Ravens downplay Lamar Jackson missing OTAs: ‘It’s a voluntary time’ of year, John Harbaugh says

The reigning NFL MVP has been absent from his team activities this month, though since OTAs are voluntary, there is no real red flag for the missed practices. Lamar Jackson has not attended four of the first five of the Baltimore Ravens team activities, leaving Josh Johnson to take first-team snaps. However, head coach John Harbaugh downplayed Jackson’s absence and emphasized that players can choose whether or not they participate. 

“It’s this time of year; it’s a voluntary time,” Harbaugh said, via ESPN. “It’s really not something that we comment on. We can’t, and that’s just the time of year it is. So, I can’t speak for anybody that’s not here.”

Jackson was the only starter to not attend on Tuesday. The 27-year-old missed the first OTA, attended the second and then missed the last three. This is not the first time Jackson has missed some time during spring sessions. He also missed the beginning of OTAs the last two seasons, but eventually regularly attended. 

Harbaugh did not give any information as to why the team is without its starting quarterback right now, though did note that those who did attend are putting in solid work. 

“I pretty much know the different reasons guys aren’t here most of the time, but not always,” Harbaugh said. “Nobody’s required to tell you exactly what’s going on. So, I’m not really specifically going to be able to comment on anybody that way. But the guys that were here were great flying around, and those are the guys we had a great time coaching.”

Jackson still has a chance to attend more OTA practices, with four more next week. Mandatory minicamp will run from June 11-13. Whether he will attend is not something Harbaugh was willing to say. “We’ll see what happens,” Harbaugh said.

Many players miss OTAs due to contract issues or negotiating talks, but Jackson is past that phase, at least for now. Last year, he signed a five-year, $260 million contract.

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Author: Shanna McCarriston
May 31, 2024 | 11:55 am

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