The much anticipated quarterback showdown between electric Bears rookie Justin Fields and former MVP Lamar Jackson of the Ravens is in question after Jackson missed his second consecutive day of practice.
Jackson was out sick Wednesday and Thursday, though coach John Harbaugh clarified that he doesn’t have the coronavirus, and the Ravens have been running seldom-used backup Tyler Huntley in his place.
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Jackson was feeling better Thursday but declined to give any details on the severity of his illness.
“I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” Ravens center Bradley Bozeman said. “He’s doing his things at home he needs to do. When he comes back in, he’s not going to miss a step. He’s continued to build on that, continued to step up to the plate when he needs to, so I don’t see that being an issue.”
While players occasionally miss practices because they’re sick, Jackson has now missed four practices this season.
It’s a substantial difference for the Ravens if they have to go with Huntley instead of Jackson, who has been one of the most dynamic offensive players in the NFL over the last three seasons. Huntley, in his second season as an undrafted quarterback out of Utah, has played four career games.
Help up front
As the Bears try to keep their pass rush going despite outside linebacker Khalil Mack’s absence because of a sprained foot, NFL Network reported they are adding veteran pass rusher Bruce Irvin.
Irvin, 34, missed most of last season because of a torn ACL and was not on a roster this season. His last full season was 2019, when he had a career-high 8œ sacks in 13 games for the Panthers.
Defense in flux
While Mack missed practice again Thursday, the Bears got some good news with safety Eddie Jackson getting some work in for the first time since hurting his hamstring Oct. 31 against the 49ers. He was limited.
Jackson has been one of the Bears’ most durable players and played at least 96% of the defensive snaps every season from 2017 through ’20. DeAndre Houston-Carson, primarily a special-teamer, started in his place against the Steelers.
Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks remained out and has not practiced since injuring his ankle against the Steelers. Wide receiver Allen Robinson (hamstring) and inside linebacker Danny Trevathan (knee) also were out again.
Offensively, wide receiver Darnell Mooney was limited because of a foot injury, and running back Damien Williams went through his first full practice since suffering a knee injury against the 49ers.