Lamar Jackson addressed the media Monday for the first time since returning from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. He said the experience was similar to last season, when he was stricken for the first time and missed a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"I was just like last time, fatigued," Jackson said. "I was sleeping a lot. But I'm glad to be back. Ten days off, I didn't like it at all."
Jackson was noncommittal when asked if he planned to get vaccinated, maintaining that it was a personal choice.
"I've got to talk to my team doctors, try to see how they feel about it, keep learning as much as I can about it," Jackson said. "We'll go from there.
"I feel it's a personal decision. I'm just going to worry about that with my family, keep my feelings to my family and myself. I'm focused on getting better right now. I can't dwell on that right now, how everybody else feels. I'm just trying to get back in a great routine."
Recently, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan called on Jackson to get vaccinated.
"I want to inspire the kids, I want to inspire the community," Jackson said. "At the same time, people are going to feel however they want to feel about certain situations. You just have to go however you want to go about it."
Jackson said he was crushed when informed that he had tested positive for a second time.
"What the … again?" Jackson said. "It was crazy. I was heartbroken. Right before camp, it was like, 'Not again. Not right now.' But it's over with."
The NFL has stricter protocols for unvaccinated players, and Jackson was asked if he worried about putting the Ravens at a competitive disadvantage.
"No, I'm just going to follow the NFL protocols as much as I can, the best as I can," Jackson said. "I'm not worried about it. Last year I came off COVID, I felt like we did pretty good. This year I'm trying to do the same thing."
Jackson praised backup quarterbacks Trace McSorley and Tyler Huntley in his absence, but the 2019 NFL MVP said it was difficult to watch his teammates start training camp without him.
"I think I'm mentally handling it well right now," Jackson said. "I'm back. I'm feeling good. When I was at home, I wasn't doing too good because I was missing my guys. I'm watching highlights on Instagram and Twitter. I'm like, 'I wish I was out there, they're looking good. Snoop [Huntley], Trace, they're throwing the ball, flying around. Guys making great catches, tight ends working, defense working. It was like, 'I need to be back out there with my guys.'"
Jackson missed the first eight practices of training camp before his return on Saturday, and he hopes to make up for that lost time as quickly as possible. Jackson said he threw to his cousins in his backyard while he was away, and he remained in touch with the coaching staff.
"I hope the coaches think I'm doing well, I hope my teammates think I'm doing well," Jackson said. "I'm just trying to catch up as much as I can, as fast as I can."