Lamar Jackson: Defense gave me opportunity to run, I took it

Josh Alper

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson‘s ability to make plays with his feet was on full display against the Packers on Thursday night.

Jackson stuck to throwing the ball in the team’s preseason opener, but he ran the ball three times against Green Bay. The best of those runs didn’t wind up in the final box score.

It was a 14-yard touchdown sprint that saw Jackson leap over a Packer defender on his way to the end zone, but a penalty on wideout Willie Snead meant the six points came off the board. Hurdling defensive players may not be what teams want to see from quarterbacks in the preseason, but Jackson said “I have to make you miss” if he’s running and the defense left him no choice on that play.

“Basically [it was] what the defense gave me,” Jackson said in his postgame press conference. “They gave me the opportunity to run, squeezing out the edges, gave me the middle lane. I just took advantage.”

Head coach John Harbaugh said after the game that the Ravens aren’t trying to run Jackson in the preseason, but “you can’t hold him back forever” and called watching Jackson slice through the defense “pretty awesome.” A perfect world might have Jackson waiting for Week One to take another jaunt like the touchdown run, but playing him against the Eagles next week means the Ravens have to be open to the possibility of an August encore.

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