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Lamar Jackson set for Ravens return after COVID-19 absence

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The reigning NFL MVP is back.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that quarterback Lamar Jackson is expected to make his return to action on Tuesday night against the Cowboys.

Jackson, 23, was among a long list of Baltimore players who tested positive for COVID-19 and missed the Ravens’ Week 12 AFC North clash with the Steelers. He was eligible to be activated off of the COVID-19/reserve list Sunday after a 10-day quarantine and will be able to practice immediately.

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said his signal-caller will be prepared for the game despite the short turnaround, as he has been “fully engaged” in virtual meetings

“So, he’s really lockstep, each and every step through,” Roman said. “The only thing he can’t do is, obviously, be here at the facility and actually take part in it. But, mentally, he’s right on it.”

Running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram, tight end Mark Andrews, wide receiver Willie Snead, defensive end Calais Campbell and edge rushers Matthew Judon and Pernell McPhee were also among those who tested positive for the coronavirus during the Ravens’ outbreak, which forced the postponement of their Week 12 game twice.

The matchup was eventually played on Wednesday afternoon with Robert Griffin III getting the start for Baltimore. The contest ended 19-14, as the Steelers’ record remained unblemished (11-0) and the Ravens (6-5) recorded their third straight loss.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson
Getty Images

Griffin was placed on injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury during the game and will miss at least three weeks. He was briefly replaced by 2019 sixth-rounder Trace McSorley, who will now serve as the backup quarterback.

Jackson’s return comes at a crucial time with the Ravens’ playoff hopes fading. They currently sit in third place in the AFC North on the heels of their 14-2 2019 season, and trail the Browns (8-3), Dolphins (7-4) and Colts (7-4) for the conference’s three wild-card spots.

Through 10 starts, Jackson has completed 63.4 percent of his attempts for 1,948 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions and has recorded 575 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns this year. The All-Pro quarterback led the NFL in passing touchdowns, rushing yards and rushing attempts in 2019 and helped the team advance to the divisional round of the playoffs before losing to the Titans.

The Ravens are slated to face the Cowboys (3-8), Browns (8-3), Jaguars (1-10), Giants (4-7) and Bengals (2-8-1) to end the season.

Andrews, Judon and Snead will not return for the Cowboys game.

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