The Baltimore Ravens have to be hoping for a miracle. Lamar Jackson, their all-world quarterback who was the league MVP last year and is set to become the first player ever to earn two consecutive $250 million contracts, has not practiced since hurting his knee in Week 13. The injury initially looked like a minor one: ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that he would be out 1-3 weeks at most.
But the knee problem is much more severe than that, and it's becoming increasingly unlikely that Jackson will be ready to play in Sunday's AFC wild-card game against Cincinnati. The Ravens are preparing to start Tyler Huntley, who has been solid if unspectacular in his stead. The team's backup running back, Anthony Brown, has also missed the past four games with a shoulder injury and will likely miss the wild-card game as well.
Jackson's injury is a major blow for a Ravens offense that relies so heavily on his ability to run the ball. But with a new offensive staff under OC Todd Monken, it could be the chance that the former Louisville star needs to elevate his passing game and show fantasy managers why he earned his mega-deal this offseason.
The other question surrounding this situation is whether the Ravens can work out a long-term deal with Jackson before his franchise tag expires next month. The two sides are still far apart in negotiations, and it's not out of the realm of possibility that Jackson will skip training camp or several regular season games in an effort to force a quicker resolution to the issue.