Lamar Jackson took a step forward on Wednesday as he returned to the practice field on a limited basis, but he may have taken a step backward on Thursday. According to various reporters on the scene, the Ravens quarterback was not present during the portion of Thursday's practice that was open to the media, further clouding his status for Sunday's matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.
Jackson's absence on Thursday comes just a day after he made it back onto the practice field for the first time since he suffered an ankle injury against the Cleveland Browns on December 12. During that Wednesday session, Jackson had a very noticeable limp and hardly looked like a quarterback that was close to full strength.
Jackson has not played since suffering that ankle injury in Week 14. Tyler Huntley -- who was activated off of the COVID-19 list on Thursday -- started in Baltimore's Week 15 matchup against the Packers and it was Josh Johnson who got the nod last week against Cincinnati with both Jackson (ankle) and Huntley (COVID) sidelined. If Jackson is held out for Week 17, Huntley would almost certainly start against the Rams.
This lingering injury for Jackson is ill-timed for Baltimore's playoff hopes. Thanks to a four-game losing streak the team is currently on, the Ravens are now 8-7 on the year and are slotted in as the No. 8 seed, just looking outside of the playoff picture in the AFC. They'd need to win out to give themselves the best chance of making the playoffs and having Jackson in the fold during this critical time would certainly be key in saving their season.