It has been a turbulent few weeks for Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, including struggles with an ankle injury. What is the latest update on Jackson’s injury, does Baltimore need to rush him back, and what should fantasy football managers do with the Ravens QB?
Lamar Jackson injury update
Jackson did not take to the practice field for the fourth consecutive day as he manages his ankle injury. There was optimism that Jackson could play leading up to their Week 15 game against the Green Bay Packers, but ultimately the Ravens decided it was not worth the risk.
On Wednesday, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh described the situation as “wait and see”. He referred to all of the Ravens’ injuries as being day-by-day. Therefore, there is still a chance Jackson can return from what has been described as a bone bruise. It will be interesting to see whether the Ravens can get Jackson back on the practice field this week.
Tyler Huntley has done an admirable job filling in as the starting QB
Week 15 saw Tyler Huntley do another solid job filling in for Jackson leading the offense. He threw for 215 yards with 2 touchdowns while adding 73 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. If you include Week 14, when Jackson left in the second quarter with his ankle injury, Huntley has now had three opportunities to lead the Ravens.
Looking across those three performances from Huntley, the numbers are impressive. He has completed 81 of 114 passes (71%) for 704 yards (234.7 yards per game) with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. He has then added 158 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns.
All of that has taken the pressure off the Ravens rushing Jackson back, despite a logjam in the NFL standings on the AFC side.
Huntley is more than capable of keeping the team in games, which means they do not need to rush Jackson back. Therefore, they have the opportunity to rest him and have him fresh for the final two weeks of the season if he struggles.
What should fantasy managers do if Jackson is active?
The Ravens’ QB situation is tough for fantasy managers to navigate. Jackson has been inconsistent this season, scoring less than 20 fantasy points in the three games he played between Weeks 10-13. At his best, Jackson is a fantasy star. However, if he is limited from using his legs due to injury, that hurts his potential upside.
As a passer, Jackson has thrown just 16 touchdowns in 12 games, while throwing 13 interceptions. Of his 239.98 fantasy points this season, 88.7 (36.9%) have come through him running the ball. That is a big chunk of potential production to lose if Jackson is limited because of his ankle injury. That leaves just an average of around 13 points per game through the air.
That makes starting Jackson if he is active a tough call. If he cannot run, his fantasy upside is extremely limited. That makes it tough to trust him in the fantasy playoffs because you are relying on him to play in a style outside his comfort zone.
The decision is no easier if it is Huntley starting. He had a monster game with 35.9 fantasy points in Week 15. Yet, he had just 26 points combined in Weeks 11 and 14. Nonetheless, last week was the first time the game plan was actually designed for Huntley. That provides optimism that he can be an asset for managers. Still, the Bengals are a top-10 defense in terms of fantasy points allowed to QBs. Therefore, regardless of who is under center, the decision will be tough.
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