Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has a “strong chance” of playing in the team’s wild-card game next week, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Jackson has been sidelined for over a month with a sprained knee suffered in a win over the Denver Broncos in Week 13. He has been ruled out for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jackson is still experiencing swelling in his knee, the source said, a situation that has not healed as quickly as the team would have hoped, which is why Jackson has missed as much time as he has.
Coach John Harbaugh said Friday that the team will be “hopeful” that Jackson can return next week.
“I can’t wait for him to get back, just like everybody else,” Harbaugh said Friday. “[Jackson] won’t be playing in this game, and we’ll be hopeful next week. We’ll just see where we’re at then.”
On Thursday, offensive coordinator Greg Roman said he wasn’t going to count out Jackson’s ability to play in the playoffs.
“He’s a special guy,” Roman said after Thursday’s practice. “I think if somebody’s got a chance to do it, he does.”
Despite being locked into a wild-card spot in the postseason, the Ravens (10-6) still have a chance of hosting a playoff game. As a result of how the NFL is handling the unbalanced schedule created by the cancellation of the Bills-Bengals game after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin‘s cardiac arrest, a coin flip might allow Baltimore to host Cincinnati next weekend. The Bengals have already been declared AFC North winners.
The coin-flip scenario comes into play if the Ravens win Sunday in Cincinnati and the Chargers win in Denver. The Ravens and Chargers have identical records, but Los Angeles would get the No. 5 seed, while Baltimore would get a third game against Cincinnati. The reward for the No. 6 seed Ravens sweeping the Bengals yet losing the division title would be the coin-flip opportunity to host third-seeded Cincinnati in the playoffs. Had the Bills-Bengals game been played to completion and Buffalo won, the Week 18 game between Baltimore and Cincinnati would have been for the AFC North championship.
Jackson isn’t the only Baltimore quarterback dealing with an injury. Tyler Huntley, who has gone 2-2 in Jackson’s absence this year, has been limited for the past three days in practice with injuries to his right shoulder and wrist.
If Huntley can’t play, undrafted rookie Anthony Brown would start Sunday’s game. Quarterback Brett Hundley was also elevated from the practice squad.
Information from ESPN’s Jamison Hensley was used in this report.