Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson reportedly turned down about $250 million from the Ravens before the season because he felt he deserved more guaranteed money than Deshaun Watson got from the Cleveland Browns and was willing to risk injury this season to get it. Might Jackson be having second thoughts? The 2019 MVP had been struggling a bit lately and now could miss up to three weeks with a sprained PCL suffered during Sunday's win over Denver. Baltimore (8-4) remains a slight -120 favorite at Caesars Sportsbook to win the AFC North over Cincinnati (8-4), but those numbers might flip by Sunday.
ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting the sprained PCL is in the left knee for the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner – and PCL injuries often sideline players anywhere from 1-3 weeks. Jets quarterback Zach Wilson sprained his PCL last season and missed Weeks 8-11. Jackson left after being sacked by Denver's Jonathon Cooper on the last play of the first quarter in Sunday's 10-9 win. With backup Tyler Huntley playing the final three quarters, Baltimore totaled just 285 yards.
Through three games, Jackson was playing like an MVP candidate but from Week 4 through last week, Jackson had just seven touchdowns and five interceptions in eight games for a passer rating of 80.8. His running hasn't been quite the same, either. The 25-year-old star will be eligible for a franchise tag next season that could pay him north of $45 million. If he isn't tagged or extended, he'll become an unrestricted free agent.
Oddsmakers clearly don't expect Jackson to play this week at suddenly surging Pittsburgh as the Ravens were -4.5 on the lookahead line last week but are now +3.
Cincinnati has won four straight and six of its last seven and should win this Sunday at home as a 6-point favorite against Watson's Browns. The Bengals currently lose the head-to-head tiebreaker against Baltimore due to a 19-17 loss in Week 5, but they play again in Week 18.
Cincinnati does appear to have a tougher remaining schedule before that with trips to Tampa Bay and New England and a home date with Buffalo. Baltimore visits Cleveland and hosts Atlanta and Pittsburgh ahead of the finale. If Jackson were to return in three weeks, it would be for the team's Week 16 game against the Falcons on Christmas Eve.
|Lamar Out 1 Week||10.7||62.90%||59.80%||97.50%||7.50%||3.30%|
|Lamar Out 3 Weeks||10.5||61.80%||54.70%||93.70%||7.00%||3.10%|
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