On Friday, Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh led with an opening statement following practice regarding quarterback Lamar Jackson’s injury and the commentary surrounding his absence.
“Just wanted to share this with you,” Harbaugh said. “Kind of really about Lamar’s injury because I know guys ask every week and everybody wants to know and I understand that completely. Completely understand that. I want to know every week. Every day you kind of ask and see where we’re at. [But] there really are no updates on that and that’s the biggest thing. I know maybe fans, media, everybody is getting frustrated about that but it’s just kind of the nature of it and when we have an update, definitely you’ll have it. But injuries are so hard to predict and that’s why when I get up here sometimes I’ll refrain from saying how long will it be. You might think it’s going to be some number of weeks or some number of days or whatever but you really don’t know because they all respond differently. And then later I feel bad because well it didn’t turn out to be the number we originally had or thought it was going to be so I try to say ‘well, I’m really not going to talk about that,’ and kind of sometimes people think ‘well he’s hiding something’ or whatever but it’s really not. I might be hiding something sometimes but not in this case. But the truth is we just really don’t know so I know everybody’s working as hard as they can. Lamar’s working as hard as he can, trainers are working as hard as they can and [I] can’t wait for him to get back, obviously, just like everybody else so that’s where we’re at with that. He won’t be playing in this game but we’ll be hopeful for next week and we’ll just see where we’re at then.”
John Harbaugh shares what’s going on regarding Lamar Jackson’s injury. Said that he isn’t giving updates because there haven’t been any updates. pic.twitter.com/0BOoHWAoMW— Kyle Phoenix Barber (@KylePBarber) January 6, 2023
This certainly offers more clarity regarding the Jackson injury situation than the past few instances of Harbaugh’s responses, even if the update is there is no update.
This also shows Harbaugh’s previous responses where he brushed the questions aside, which he addressed in his statement, is due not because of some rift, but because there is no update. The injury is still hampering Jackson from being on the practice field and as a result, Harbaugh had nothing more to share.
Above all else, the desire to win is a part of the equation in why Harbaugh doesn’t share much on injuries. The spotlight just happens to be magnified with it being Jackson, and it didn’t help when national reports stated originally it would be a 1-3 week injury and the past few weeks national reporters have stated ‘there’s a chance he could practice this week.’ But, Harbaugh hasn’t been one to offer clarity on injuries both because, as he said players respond differently to injury but also because the desire to win and withhold any competitive advantage in his favor is something he’s willing to keep.
During his tenure, he’s described injuries vaguely. Just check quotes from previous accounts. It’s not like he’s saying anything new or giving special answers due to it being Jackson. This is commonplace for the commentary, it’s just the player and the situation creates greater significance.
REMINDER: Check the dates of the tweets below
Harbaugh: Campanaro has "soft-tissue issue," thought not serious. But the last thing Campanaro needs is another nagging injury. #RavensTalk— Bo Smolka (@bsmolka) August 24, 2015
In his Ravens debut, DeSean Jackson had one catch for 16 yards before leaving with a hamstring injury.— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) November 8, 2022
John Harbaugh: “Yes, he could have gone, but we just felt like... He had a soft tissue thing, which you could expect, and we just felt like, ‘Let’s just be safe.’”
A day after David Culley says Lamar Jackson had a tired arm, John Harbaugh says Lamar has a "soft-tissue thing" that they want to give some time to heal.— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) August 23, 2020
Harbaugh has no updates on Elliott and Canady. Just said they have lower body injuries.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) October 13, 2019