Why Lamar Jackson isn't playing for Ravens in Week 11 vs. Bears

by 24USATVNov. 21, 2021, 8 p.m. 20
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The Ravens are looking to bounce back in Week 11 after an embarrassing loss on "Thursday Night Football" against the Dolphins last week. They're going to have to do it without Lamar Jackson.

The team's star quarterback was listed as "questionable" for the Ravens' game against the Bears as he dealt with an illness. He practiced for the team on Friday, but over the weekend, his symptoms worsened. He went to Soldier Field on Sunday to see if he could work his way into game shape, but was unable to do so.

As such, the Ravens will have to earn a win without Jackson for the first time since he missed a game against the Steelers last season after testing positive for COVID-19.

Here's everything you need to know about Jackson's absence, illness and who will be replacing him in the Ravens' starting lineup.

Why is Lamar Jackson out vs. Bears?

Jackson will not start for the Ravens as he deals with a non-COVID-related illness.

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Jackson is dealing with "a virus so bad that he's simply not himself." Jackson traveled with the Ravens to Chicago, but didn't feel well enough to play.

Jackson had missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with the illness, but was listed as a full participant during Friday's practice. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Saturday that Jackson was "50-50" to play in Week 11, so he was truly questionable for the game.

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Jackson's vaccination status is unclear. He dealt with COVID during the 2020 NFL season and caught it again during the summer of 2021. He returned from that second bout with the virus in early August, but was noncommittal about getting vaccinated. In early September, he declined to elaborate his status ahead of Week 1.

"I want to keep that between me and my family and the doctors," Jackson told reporters. "That’s all."

So it's still unclear whether Jackson has been vaccinated. However, Jackson tested negative for COVID-19, per Rapoport, so this absence is unrelated to the NFL's COVID protocols. He just doesn't feel well enough to play.

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Tyler Huntley is the Ravens' backup quarterback. He is a second-year player who went undrafted out of Utah during the 2020 NFL Draft. Huntley has never started a game, but has completed 8 of 16 career passes for 54 yards. He also has run for 33 yards on 13 carries.

That said, Huntley was excellent for the Ravens in the preseason. He completed 60 of 83 passes (72.3 percent) for 551 passing yards, four touchdowns and just one interception. That's how the mobile, 6-1 passer earned the primary backup job behind Jackson.

Trace McSorley, a 2019 sixth-round pick out of Penn State, will serve as Huntley's backup.

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