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News & Notes: Lamar Jackson Uncertain If He'll Play in Preseason

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson didn't slam the door on playing in the preseason, but he didn't open it either.

Jackson watched Thursday night's preseason opener from the sideline, and the Ravens only have two preseason games left. Following Saturday's practice, Jackson was asked about the possibility of making a preseason appearance.

"I might give it a shot, I don't know yet," Jackson said. "I don't know if I'm going to play."

Every team must weigh the risk of injury into deciding whether to play their starting quarterback during the preseason. Patrick Mahomes played the opening series of Saturday's preseason game in Chicago and led the Chiefs on a touchdown drive before checking out. Jets quarterback Zach Wilson was not as fortunate, suffering a knee injury in Friday night's preseason game that leaves his status for Week 1 against the Ravens uncertain

"That doesn't have anything to do with me," Jackson said. "But I hope he [Zach Wilson] gets better. But like I said, we're not wishing that over here; we're not wishing that at all."

Jackson played just one series in the final preseason game last year, but starting Week 1 without any preseason action would be a first for him. Jackson didn't reveal if he would try to coax Head Coach John Harbaugh into playing at least one preseason series. Last year, the Ravens saw running back J.K. Dobbins go down with a season-ending knee injury in the preseason finale.

"I don't know yet," Jackson said smiling. "That's my answer."

Jackson is having his most impressive training camp and his readiness for the regular season is not a concern.

"He's throwing the hell out of the ball," backup quarterback Tyler Huntley said.

Jackson Feels Just As Nimble With Added Weight

After making the decision to add 12-15 pounds of muscle before training camp, Jackson feels stronger and does not feel he has lost any mobility.

Jackson was on pace to top 1,000 rushing yards for the third straight season last year before his ankle injury.

"I just wanted to look the part. Look a little sturdy back there, look a little big," Jackson said. "I felt like it worked. Still fast, still moving around as I was before. Just added a little more weight."

Questions about Jackson's sustainability will persist, but Jackson took a jab at them Saturday.

"Do you know how the injury happened? Trying to pass in the pocket," Jackson said. "I feel like that's a no-brainer. I've been good [with] how I've been playing."

J.K. Dobbins Following Planned Schedule, Will Return to Practice Monday

Running back J.K. Dobbins continues to work his way back from last year's knee injury and will return to practice Monday,[comma] according to Harbaugh. Dobbins did not practice Saturday, and Harbaugh said the third-year running back would not practice Sunday either as he follows a predetermined schedule.

"They were planning on these two days – today and tomorrow – kind of being an evaluation day based on the week of work," Harbaugh said. "They went through whatever process they're going through, [and] he should be back Monday."

Defensive tackle Justin Madubuike also missed Saturday's practice because of a migraine headache, Harbaugh said.

"He had a little headache problem, migraine deal, so we're kind of working through that right now," Harbaugh said. "You don't mess around with those too much."

Makai Polk Continues to Impress

Undrafted rookie receiver Makai Polk led the SEC receptions last season (105), good for 1,048 yards and nine touchdowns at Mississippi State. Polk has shown an ability to get open daily during training camp, and that continued during the preseason opener when he led the Ravens in targets (8) and catches (6), good for 43 yards receiving.

Polk is battling for a roster spot and making a positive impression.

"Makai has had a good camp," Harbaugh said. "He flashed, really, from Day 1. He's a very fast, very athletic guy. He had a couple plays [and] mixed it up in there a little bit blocking, and it was a good start for him."

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