If Lamar Jackson leaves Baltimore this offseason, his final game with the Ravens will end up being a game that he didn't even attend. Back in January, Jackson raised a lot of eyebrows around the NFL when he didn't travel to Cincinnati for the Ravens' playoff game against the Bengals, which Baltimore ended up losing 24-17.
At the time, there was no explanation from Jackson or the Ravens regarding his absence from the sideline, which led to a lot of confusion around the NFL.
Wait a sec … Lamar Jackson didn’t travel with the Ravens to their playoff game?— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) January 16, 2023
Is that what I just heard?
Any word why Lamar didn’t travel with the team?— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) January 16, 2023
Although it was known that he wouldn't be playing in the game due to a PCL injury in his knee, it was assumed by most that he would still travel to the game and support his team, but that didn't happen. The fact that he didn't show up for the playoff game surprised a lot of people and led many fans to believe that it was a sign that Jackson didn't want to play for the Ravens anymore.
Lol… he gone— Andrew Moser (@Andrew_Moser_) January 16, 2023
So why didn't Jackson show up for the game? The Ravens quarterback has finally answered that question.
Jackson has been sharing a lot of information on Twitter over the past month -- including-- and one piece of information he also shared was why he didn't travel to Cincinnati.
According to Jackson, his injury got worse after he traveled to Pittsburgh for Baltimore's Week 17 game against the Steelers. Due to that fact, it was decided that Jackson wouldn't travel again until his knee could handle it.
"After I traveled to the Pittsburgh game my PCL got inflated so a few of us discussed it and I got the ok to stay so I could try in recover faster," Jackson wrote on Twitter after someone asked him specifically why he didn't travel to the playoff game.
If Jackson stayed home so his knee could recover faster, that would actually make some sense. Jackson had been out since injuring his knee in December and by January, the Ravens believed he was week-to-week. Although he didn't play against the Bengals, it's possible that he could have played the following week if the Ravens had beaten Cincinnati. Ravens coach John Harbaugh had even said that he was hopeful that Jackson could return for a potential divisional round game.
Of course, if Jackson doesn't return to Baltimore, you could point to the situation with his knee as the breaking point. The Ravens kept hinting that Jackson would return, but just before the playoff game, he made it clear that he wasn't in any position to return just yet. Three days before the game, Jackson jumped on Twitter and shared the full details on his injury, which the team probably didn't want divulged.
"I want to give you all an update as I am in the recovery process," Jackson wrote on Twitter before the playoff game. "I've suffered a PCL grade 2 sprain on the borderline of a strain 3. There is still inflammation surrounding my knee and my knee remains unstable. I'm still in good spirits, as I continue with treatments on the road to recovery. I wish I could be out there with my guys more than anything but I can't give a 100% of myself to my guys and fans I'm still hopeful we still have a chance."
The two sides never seemed to be on the same page with his knee injury. With Jackson out, the Ravens ended up losing their playoff game after his backup, Tyler Huntley, fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter.
As things currently stand, the relationship between Jackson and the Ravens hasn't gotten much better since that point. On March 2, Jackson requested a trade out of Baltimore, and five days later, the. Even if Jackson wants to leave Baltimore though, that might not be an option, because, so far, no other teams have shown any interest in him.