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EA Sports Reveals Madden 21 Cover Featuring Lamar Jackson

Graphic highlights the three different versions of the Madden 21 cover which features quarterback Lamar Jackson
Graphic highlights the three different versions of the Madden 21 cover which features quarterback Lamar Jackson

The Madden 21 cover is unique, just like Lamar Jackson.

EA Sports revealed this year's cover Tuesday morning, and it's a dramatic departure from the company’s typical portrait shots.

The Madden 21 cover has a collage look with five different photos of Jackson, which show his determination, fun-loving personality and unique style of play.

There are three covers for the game: standard, deluxe and MVP. The standard version has a main image of Jackson warming up before the Ravens' Monday Night Football game in Los Angeles last year. There's also a shot of Jackson laughing while walking off the field, smiling during practice, running in a game and a shot of the back of his jersey.

The standard cover also has the text "Generation Rising" on the cover, a nod to how Jackson is changing the game and quarterback position.

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is the latest player to be featured on the Madden game cover. Take a look back at other stars to receive the honor.

The deluxe version of the game has a main image of Jackson spinning the ball on his finger during pre-game warmups, and also features one of the most well-known action shots of his career when he hurdled a Green Bay Packers defender last preseason. There's also a close-up of his wild dog chain, a nod to his brand and the unique style he's injected into the NFL.

The MVP version of the game is a black-and-white image of Jackson that's more of a portrait style and looking very determined before a game.

All three main images were taken by Ravens Team Photographer Shawn Hubbard, who EA Sports reached out to when COVID-19 cancelled their scheduled photo shoot with Jackson.

Lamar Jackson is featured on the cover of Madden 21

It just came out of the blue," Hubbard said. "We were on lockdown with COVID and I know they usually have a shoot for it. It just wasn't something I expected with all the other bad news happening. … I'm a little embarrassed to say that I've never played Madden – ever. Maybe they'll send me a copy and I'll get started."

Still, Hubbard said it's a "huge honor" to have a bunch of his photographs on the cover (there are some Associated Press shots too), because EA Sports could have just used all shots from the AP. But they wanted Hubbard's more behind-the-scenes lifestyle look.

"Those are the types of images that I live for," said Hubbard, who has won many honors from the Pro Football Hall of Fame photo contest.

The last, and only other, time a Raven was on the cover was Ray Lewis for Madden 2005. It was also the first time a defensive player was featured.

Jackson does not believe in the fabled "Madden Curse", and with good reason. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was on the cover last year and he went on to be the Super Bowl MVP.

"I want that curse. I hope that's a curse," Jackson joked in April when he made the surprise announcement that he would be on the cover. "It's always been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, since I first started playing Madden. It's dope. I have every Madden. To me, to be on the front of it, it's a dream come true."

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