- Baltimore Ravens starting quarterback Lamar Jackson has tested positive for COVID-19 and forcing him to be absent from the start of training camp.
- It is the second time in eight months that Jackson has tested positive.
- Inexplicably, Jackson doesn’t appear to be vaccinated based on the frequency with which he has been tested.
Despite the emphasis placed on the importance of vaccinations by the NFL–and despite the reality that vaccines are safe and effective–a shocking number of pro football players refuse to get vaccinated. At this point, it’s downright inexplicable. Teams have brought in doctors, specialists, heads of medical schools and research labs but for some reason players hold on to nonsensical conspiracy theories spread on social media. Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera appears to have inherited one of the dumbest group of players in the league. That’s the only conclusion that can be taken from their league low vaccination rate.
It takes an even higher degree of stupidity to hold on to a delusional anti-vaxxer stance when it begins to seriously impact your health and career. That’s the case with Baltimore Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson who is missing the start of training camp with his second positive COVID-19 test in eight months. Despite a team vaccination of ‘90% and rising’ according to head coach John Harbaugh, Jackson remains a holdout. Jackson has declined to give his vaccination status in the past–that he would equivocate on this is a sign he’s part of the tinfoil hat crowd–but given the fact that he’s been tested daily it can be concluded that he’s one of the obstinate and clueless minority in the NFL.
Harbaugh showed excessive restraint when asked about the situation with his quarterback:
“It’s just part of the deal. It’s just the way the world is right now.”
Ravens’ running back Gus Edwards has also tested positive–and also appears to be unvaccinated. Unvaccinated players are required to get tested daily while vaccinated players are required to be tested every 14 days. Coach Harbaugh didn’t give a timeline for Jackson’s return but under NFL guidelines unvaccinated players are required to be isolated for 10 days. The Ravens play their first preseason game in 17 days and a big emphasis for training camp was working on what was the league’s worst passing attack last season. Jackson has let down his team by putting them nearly two weeks behind in that process–not to mention putting the health and safety of his teammates and the general public at risk.
Harbaugh is taking a ‘glass half full’ approach, probably to maintain some degree of sanity:
“It’s no different than if somebody gets an injury — you tweak an ankle and you’re out for some number of days. It’s just part of football. To me, whenever you have a problem or whenever something comes up like that, you embrace it and you almost kind of rejoice in it because it’s an opportunity to improve somewhere else.”
Teammate Marquise Brown indicated he’s supporting his quarterback though he used a bad analogy to do so:
“I trust every man in this building to take care of one another. When hiccups like this happen, all you can do is rally around that guy. Send our prayers and send our support. Hopefully, he’ll be back very soon. For me, I’m just trying to take every step to be safe in myself and come play football.”
The ‘trust every man in this building to take care of one another’ is the way it’s supposed to work. Unfortunately, when players refuse to get vaccinated they are putting their own misguided paranoia ahead of their teammates’ well being. At the same time, they’re undermining what the team is trying to accomplish with their preparation in training camp.
Jackson’s performance slipped dramatically last season from his career year in 2019. Given his lack of concern about doing what is best for the team it’s pretty much all downhill from here.