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Lamar Jackson Absent from OTAs – Should Fans Worry?

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Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens
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Time to Worry About QB1?

It was either Aristotle or Alfred E. Neuman who uttered the famous pontification, “What, me worry?”

If you’re a Ravens fan who is deeply invested in the team’s fortunes for the 2022 season, you have probably tested yourself with this very query in regards to former MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson and his absence from this week’s voluntary OTAs. It’s worth discussing, if nothing else.

For starters… no. I’m not particularly worried. Jackson’s social-media offerings this season have been a collection of him working out with a throwing coach, and several sessions with presumed top outside target, Rashod Bateman. We haven’t seen evidence of Jackson just lying around on his couch tapping Pringles crumbs out of a can. We haven’t heard about him hiring people to sabotage Tua Tagovailoa to clear his way to be the Dolphin’s signal-caller.

By all accounts, he’s working. And he’s been considered a worker throughout his career, from everything I’ve ever read or heard.

But — and there’s always a “but” — it’s certainly less than ideal, if we’re all being honest. You always want your quarterback around when there is any kind of organized team activity, and the noise around Jackson’s contract talks and the trade of his buddy Marquise Brown put a larger magnifying glass on the situation that there would be typically. So, yeah, it would probably make the Ravens Flock and the organization in general a ton more comfortable if number 8 was out there throwing passes, running around, fielding snaps from his new center and laughing with his teammates.

But at the end of the day, Jackson missing these voluntary workouts is not the end of the world. It doesn’t mean he is angling to get moved to a different organization. It probably won’t impact how he plays in Week 14, and there’s no need to try to read the tea leaves when it doesn’t do anything but give you ulcers and gray hair.

Let it play out and see what happens. There are two more rounds of OTAs before mandatory minicamp starts on June 14. If Jackson hasn’t shown up by then, well, sound the alarm because there is definitely fire brewing beneath that smoke.

But the guess here is Jackson will show up to one of the OTA sessions and he will be dropping jaws by mandatory minicamp with his arm and his legs, and there will be images shared of the quarterback and head coach sharing a laugh between drills.

It’s early in the process. We can debate a lot of things about Jackson, from his throwing ceiling to his presumed longevity as a running quarterback, but his commitment to the team and his craft is beyond reproach. The guy has always been a gamer, and given us no reason to believe he will turn his back on his team.

Chill. Let’s see what happens before we start screaming at the clouds.

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