Lamar Jackson made an impressive return to the Baltimore Ravens, receiving positive reviews after his first practice of the offseason.
Jackson looked comfortable and had good velocity on his throws, and teammates expressed excitement over seeing him on the field for the first time in six months.
“I think everybody knows that Lamar, he’s what drives our team,” Ravens tight end Mark Andrews said Tuesday. “The energy around him being here lifts everybody up.”
Jackson, who is scheduled to talk to reporters Thursday, skipped all three weeks of the voluntary workouts before reporting Monday. He hasn’t given a reason for his absence.
The last time Jackson was on the field with Baltimore was Dec. 29, when he tried to practice with a pronounced limp. He missed the final four games with a right ankle injury, as Baltimore failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
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On Tuesday, it seemed like old times with Jackson. He moved around well, threw his usual sidearm passes and connected frequently with Andrews, including on a 30-yard pass while on the run. Teammates noticed Jackson’s passes were tight spirals and had some extra zip on them.
“He’s physically in very good shape. I thought his arm looked really good,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “You can see he’s been throwing a lot. You can see he’s in great physical condition. It’s great to have him out there. He kind of boosted everybody’s spirits, too.”
Jackson appeared comfortable on the field despite not attending the nine previous practices.
There was only one instance where the team had to huddle again because there was confusion about a play.
But what upset Jackson the most was throwing two interceptions to safety Tony Jefferson.
“He’s a competitor,” Harbaugh said. “He’s mad about some passes here and there.”
Jackson is entering his fifth-year option, which will pay him $23.016 million this season. If the sides are unable to reach an extension by March 7, Baltimore is expected to place the franchise tag on him.
“He’s the ultimate pro,” Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell said. “He prepares and handles his business the way you’re supposed to. Just being a young guy, he’s so mature. He understands how to do things the right way.”
The Ravens also announced they reached an injury settlement with defensive tackle Derek Wolfe and will release him. This comes one day after Wolfe announced he had his second hip surgery of the year.
Wolfe was solid in 2019, when the Ravens went 14-2. But he was sidelined all of last season with hip and back injuries. “So that’ll be it with that,” Harbaugh said of Wolfe.
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