Lamar Jackson Leaves Playoff Loss Early With Concussion

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) leaves the field after the first half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Buffalo Bills Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Before they lost Saturday night's playoff game, the Ravens lost Lamar Jackson to a concussion.

Jackson never returned after taking a hard hit to the back of the head on the final play of the third quarter. It was a key moment during the Ravens' 17-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills, a game in which the Ravens were held without a touchdown for the only time this season.

Jackson's injury occurred after he recovered a wild snap from Patrick Mekari that sailed over his head and rolled toward the Ravens' end zone. After picking up the loose ball, Jackson flung the ball downfield to avoid being sacked, but he still took a hard hit near the end zone from Bills defenders Tramaine Edmunds and Trent Murphy.

The back of Jackson's head slammed against the turf and he was immediately taken to the locker room and entered the concussion protocol. He was ruled out at the start of the Ravens' next drive and undrafted rookie Tyler Huntley took over at quarterback and finished the game, with the Ravens already down 14 points.

Ravens tight end Mark Andrews knew it wasn't a good sign when Jackson did not get up right away after his final play was over.

"He's a tough guy, so anytime you see him go down, you know he's feeling something," Andrews said.

Jackson finished the game 14-of-24 for 162 yards and an interception, which was returned for a 101-yard pick-six in the third quarter. He had nine carries for 34 yards and was sacked three times.

Buffalo's defense made it difficult for Jackson and the entire Ravens' offense to move the ball consistently, and Baltimore also squandered some opportunities.

Huntley saw action in just two games this season after Jackson went to the bench late during blowouts against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals. However, Huntley acquitted himself well under the circumstances. He ripped off a 19-yard run on his first play, and the Ravens missed a chance to change the momentum when Huntley overthrew a wide-open Marquise Brown for a possible long touchdown on fourth down of the following drive.

"The wind might have pushed that ball late," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "We had that fourth-down play that kind of got out of Marquise's grasp. Really a challenging situation. I thought he (Huntley) did a nice job."

On his final drive of the game, Huntley completed four passes and led Baltimore on a 12-play, 56-yard drive. However, on fourth-and goal from the 10, Andrews could not control a high pass from Huntley in the end zone.

"We all have a lot of trust in Snoop (Huntley)," Andrews said. "You saw the way he stepped in, drove us down the field. He's able to learn behind a guy like Lamar Jackson, the best at what he does. He's soaking it all in."

But this night belonged to the Bills, who kept the end zone off limits for the Ravens, regardless of who played quarterback. It was a frustrating night for Jackson, who saw his night and his season end sooner than he planned.

"You go down like that with a concussion, the odds of you coming back are slim," wide receiver Wille Snead IV said. "Just the competitor he is, I know he wants to be out there just to finish the game, give us a chance to come back. Lamar going down hurts. I know he was frustrated with that.

"He said he's fine from the concussion, but he's frustrated that we were that close and we didn't get to finish drives. He's just the ultimate competitor. He doesn't like to lose."

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