The Jacksonville Jaguars feel they cannot effectively prepare for facing Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson without the use of an Olympic sprinter.
Reigning MVP Jackson led the Ravens to a vital victory against the Cleveland Browns on Monday despite suffering from cramp.
The 23-year-old had to head to the locker room, in which time Baltimore surrendered the lead he had built, before returning to edge the Browns 47-42 in a tense finish.
Jackson threw 11-of-17 for 163 yards and a touchdown but truly sparkled when rushing, adding a further 124 yards and two TDs on nine carries.
It was the first time since Week 8 in 2019 the rapid Ravens superstar had two rushing scores in a game, marking a return to his outstanding MVP form.
The miserable 1-12 Jaguars have the unenviable task of facing Jackson next on Sunday, and head coach Doug Marrone has struggled to simulate the experience of facing such a speedy QB.
“In order to simulate him, you’d have to go out there and get, truly, an Olympic sprinter,” said Marrone, who joked back-up QB Jake Luton has been working on his sprints for practice.
“I think everyone has a difficult time doing that. We’ll take a good look at that and get someone doing that with a little bit more speed at times when we need to do that.
Yall trippin I definitely wasn’t taking a https://t.co/Tf4zoFpQ15
— Lamar Jackson (@Lj_era8) December 15, 2020
“He’s got a good arm and he can throw, but the speed of him on the field…
“He always looks like the fastest guy on the field, and that’s a credit to him. A three or four-yard gain turns into a 16-yard gain the other day.”
Jackson, who has thrown for 18 TDs this year and rushed for six more, has Baltimore at 8-5 heading into the Jacksonville game, third in the AFC North.
The Ravens have work to do to return to the playoffs, where Jackson is yet to win a game in his NFL career.