One of the most fun parts of each NFL week is seeing which practice squad player the Ravens' opponents will use to mimic Lamar Jackson.
Preparing for the reigning unanimous NFL MVP is a nearly impossible task, even for the best coaches and defenses. What makes Jackson so special is how singular he is - there's never been anyone quite like him in the history of the NFL.
So it's a tall task for practice squad players and backup receivers to try to mirror Jackson's style of play in the week leading up to game day.
Who did the Chiefs turn to this week? Former XFL quarterback Jordan Ta'amu.
Chiefs had undrafted free-agent QB Jordan Ta’amu play role of Lamar Jackson at practice this week. The 6-foot-3, 221-pound Ta’amu tried duplicating Jackson’s style of play to give the KC defense a preview of what to expect Monday -- though nothing can prepare a D for Jackson.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 27, 2020
Ta'amu, 22, was born in Hawaii and played college football for two seasons at Ole Miss after transferring from New Mexico Military Institute. He went undrafted in 2019, briefly joining the Texans roster before becoming the first player on the St. Louis BattleHawks of the XFL, starting for them at QB in their inaugural season. He was known as a dual-threat, rushing 41 times in five games for St. Louis, averaging 5.3 yards per carry.
There's value in at least preparing for a quarterback who plays the same style as Jackson, even if he can't come close to matching Jackson's abilities. But a role like this is the reason a team like the Chiefs has Ta'amu on their practice squad in the first place.
Of course, there's only so much anybody other than Jackson can do. When Monday Night Football comes and the Chiefs are tasked with trying to stop the real Lamar Jackson, they'll be trying to accomplish something that almost no other defense has been able to do.