Ravens to start Lamar Jackson at QB vs. Raiders, John Harbaugh says

ByJamison Hensley ESPN logo
Friday, November 23, 2018

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- There is no mystery surrounding the Baltimore Ravens' starting quarterback position this week.

Lamar Jackson will make his second NFL start Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, coach John Harbaugh announced Friday. This comes after the Ravens declined to name their starting quarterback heading into last Sunday's game.

"I'm counting on Lamar being the starter for this game," Harbaugh said after Friday's practice. "I think that's pretty straightforward."

Joe Flacco, the Ravens' starter for the past 11 seasons, hasn't practiced since injuring his right hip in a 23-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Harbaugh said last week that Flacco could play after not participating in practice. Now that's not the case after Flacco missed his second straight week of practice.

"At this point now, Joe would have to practice to be ready to go," Harbaugh said. "And he was not able to practice this week."

Flacco was officially ruled out for the game against the Raiders on Friday.

Jackson, the No. 32 overall pick in this year's draft, led the Ravens to a 24-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday, becoming the first quarterback to rush for more than 100 yards in his first NFL start. He ran the ball 27 times, which was the most by a quarterback in the Super Bowl era.

Jackson's next step is showing defenses that he can hurt them with more than his legs. He was 13-of-19 for 150 yards and an interception Sunday.

"I know I can throw," Jackson said. "I ran 27 times [on Sunday]. I didn't try to. We did whatever it took to win. Hopefully, I'm going to start throwing the ball more. The game plan is coming up. We're going to be throwing the ball. They're going to see."

Harbaugh hasn't noticed a difference in Jackson going into his second start.

"He's always confident and into it," Harbaugh said. "He's kind of the same. It's interesting. He's kind of Lamar, and he's a joy to be around."

Jackson is facing an Oakland defense that has allowed 29.3 points per game, which is the third-worst in the NFL.

Raiders coach Jon Gruden said Jackson presents a high level of unpredictability.

"[Jackson] is tough to prepare for," Gruden said. "You don't know what plays they're running. You don't know what he's going to do. But you do know what he's capable of doing, and it's scary."

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