Ravens clean out lockers after 'whirlwind' season

Lamar Jackson says bone bruise forced him to miss final four games
Lamar Jackson
Posted at 5:22 PM, Jan 10, 2022

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It was truly a season like no other for the Ravens.

"From the start of the season things never really bounced our way," said center Bradley Bozeman.

"This season was definitely a whirlwind. You couldn’t tell me that the season was going to end up like this and me believe it," added defensive tackle Brandon Williams.

From first place in the conference six weeks ago, with an 8-3 record, to last place in the division missing the playoffs following six straight losses, the majority of which were by the slimmest of margins. Players spoke Monday after they met with head coach John Harbaugh for an end-of-season team meeting.

"These last six games, five out of six we lost by a total of what, eight points I believe it was? And it just came down to us not finishing," said linebacker Josh Bynes.

"It does hurt. It hurts a lot just knowing that you had everything at your fingertips," said linebacker Patrick Queen.

"Falling short, it’s just even more disappointing knowing that you could have won those games," added wide receiver Marquise Brown.

"No matter who was out there, we were able to fight," said guard Kevin Zeitler. "You look back and you are just hitting yourself on the head. We easily could have been 5-1 during this six game skid."

Who was out there were a lot of backups. Injuries and illness took its toll virtually every week with this team. No injury was more impactful than the one dealt to Lamar Jackson. The quarterback revealed Monday it was a bone bruise in his right ankle suffered last month that caused him to miss the final four games of the season. He said he doesn’t know how long it will take to heal.

"I don’t really know much about how long bone bruises last and stuff like that. But, they just told me it’s going to be day-to-day."

Even before Jackson got hurt his offense’s production was trending downward. What changed midway through the season?

"I really don’t know, man. I really don’t know. We still had the same guys; we’ve just got to be consistent. We’ve just got to be consistent everywhere with our offense – just keep playing how we’ve been playing and don’t bat an eye."

What about contract negotiations with the Ravens front office? Jackson is set to enter the final year of his rookie deal this upcoming fall.

"We haven’t talked about it yet," he said. "But, I got to worry about getting back right right now and getting ready for this offseason."

With any offseason brings change. Who will return and who will move on? Bozeman is set to be a free agent in March. He knows Sunday could have been the last time he suited up in the Ravens uniform.

"This place has been so amazing to me, everyone involved from the ground up - from my teammates to the coaches to the fans. Everyone," he said emotionally as he choked back tears. "It’s been a great place for me. So, I’m just very grateful."

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook