Lamar Jackson was back at practice on Wednesday.
But he didn't look ready for football.
The Baltimore Ravens quarterback has missed two straight games with what the team has called a right ankle sprain. He hadn't practiced since suffering the injury early in a Week 14 loss to the Cleveland Browns. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that he's actually suffered a bone bruise in his ankle. Whatever it is, it was clearly still affecting him on Wednesday as he noticeably limped through open portions of practice.
Lamar Jackson (right ankle injury) returned to practice Wednesday but moved with a pronounced limp pic.twitter.com/KRWeGm6GCg
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) December 29, 2021
Ravens fighting for their playoff lives
The Ravens have lost consecutive games to the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals without Jackson, falling to 8-7 and behind the leaders in the AFC playoff race. Their fading playoff chances would get a boost if he's able to play on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. But only if Jackson resembles his former MVP self.
Judging from Wednesday's practice videos, he's got some ground to cover to reach that form in the next three days. Head coach John Harbaugh is hopeful he can play. But he's not making any promises. He doesn't even know if Jackson can practice again on Thursday.
“I really want to see him out there on Sunday,” Harbaugh told reporters, per the Baltimore Sun. “I know the fans do. I know, most of all, Lamar does. So he’s going to do everything he can to be out there, and you can’t make a promise, because we don’t know. We don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring.”
Sunday's game against a streaking Rams team chasing an outside shot at the No. 1 seed in the NFC won't come easy. With their playoff hopes at stake, the Ravens will do everything they reasonably can to get Jackson on the field. But his return appears to be anything but a certainty.