Lamar Jackson misses practice as Ravens return

Quarterback has non-COVID illness
Lamar Jackson
Posted at 3:55 PM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 15:55:56-05

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — When suffering a brutal loss like last Thursday’s in Miami, veteran linebacker Justin Houston thinks you have to make it fuel you.

"Use it as motivation. Don’t go in the tank," he said Wednesday prior to practice.

The Ravens (6-3) will try to do just that this Sunday when they visit the Chicago Bears (3-6). As they began practice preparation Wednesday, quarterback Lamar Jackson and center Bradley Bozeman were not on the field. Both have non-COVID illnesses.

Head coach John Harbaugh knows his offense could face heavy pressure on Lamar once again this weekend since that strategy worked so well for the Dolphins.

"We certainly have to be prepared for it," said Harbaugh. "I would expect [the Bears] to blitz based on what they saw Thursday."

"They got a great defense. They are going to be flying around. They are fast, physical. We have our hands full this week," said tight end Mark Andrews.

The Bears are coming off their bye and getting healthier. Pro Bowl outside linebacker Khalil Mack is set to return from a foot injury.

The Ravens will also have to contend with rookie quarterback Justin Fields on Sunday. The eleventh overall pick out of Ohio State is mobile and has a big arm. Rookie linebacker Odafe Oweh saw that up close when his Penn State squad played the Buckeyes over the last two years.

"[He's a] great athlete, very underrated athlete, loves to extend plays," said Oweh. "He has that superhero mentality where he wants to put the team on his back."

A couple of starters were back at practice on Wednesay. Right tackle Patrick Mekari (ankle) and running back Latavius Murray (ankle) both returned. Signs point toward Murray playing on Sunday since the Ravens waived Le’Veon Bell on Tuesday. Harbaugh did leave open the possibility of Bell returning to the team in some fashion.

"He can still play and we'll just see where we're at going forward. Things can turn still one way or another," said Harbaugh.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook