Lamar Jackson says COVID-19 likely played role in his cramps vs. Browns

Jack Baer
·2 min read

It’s been more than a week since Lamar Jackson was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list, but the Baltimore Ravens quarterback says he is still feeling the effects of the virus.

Jackson told reporters on Wednesday that his recent bout with COVID-19 likely played a role in the cramping that plagued him during Monday night’s win over the Cleveland Browns.

From ESPN's Jamison Hensley:

Asked Wednesday if the cramping was related to having the coronavirus recently, Jackson said, "Probably. Probably because of the body heat and we're running in the cold. It was so cold out there. That probably had an effect on that as well. I can't call it."

Jackson reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 last Thanksgiving, and was said by team officials to be “hit pretty hard” by the virus’ symptoms, per ESPN. He wouldn’t be the first athlete to see his performance on the field negatively impacted after returning from a battle with COVID-19, but rarely does that situation play out in such a public manner.

Lamar Jackson’s cramping gets another twist

CLEVELAND, OHIO - DECEMBER 14: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens scores a touchdown during the second quarter in the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 14, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Lamar Jackson's exit against the Browns was a breeding ground for a certain theory on Twitter. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

In one of the best games of the year, Jackson’s cramping (and a certain alternative theory) was the key storyline.

Jackson exited the game in the fourth quarter with reports of cramping and was seen awkwardly half-jogging to the locker room. He was replaced by third-stringer Trace McSorley (primary backup Robert Griffin III was on injured reserve), but then McSorley had to leave one-and-a-half series later with a knee injury.

McSorley was then replaced by ... Jackson, who managed to return to the field at the perfect time and eventually led the Ravens to a 47-42 win to massively bolster their shot at a playoff spot.

As all of this was happening, speculation was running rampant on social media that Jackson didn’t leave the field because of cramping. Some speculated, and some joked, that Jackson left because he had to use the bathroom. The tweets were just too easy to make.

Jackson has since insisted he really was cramping and not pulling a Paul Pierce, providing even more information on Wednesday:

"I was real-life cramping, like my hand, my throwing arm cramping, forearm cramping, fingers getting stuck together," Jackson said. "I was going through it. I was ticked off."

Offering such details of his cramping is either an elaborate attempt to legitimize his story or, well, the truth. We may never know for sure.

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