In what has become somewhat of a curious trend during the 2021 NFL season, Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson missed midweek practice sessions because of an illness said to be unrelated to COVID-19.
As Myles Simmons noted for Pro Football Talk, Jackson was back on the practice field Friday and carries no injury designation, meaning he's on track to start when the 6-3 Ravens play at the 3-6 Chicago Bears.
"I’m feeling great," the 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player told reporters Friday. "Probably had a cold or something. I’m better now, though."
Jackson has thus far been under center every game for Baltimore this season but was previously absent from multiple practices this fall because of a "sore" hip, a stomach bug, back soreness and now "a cold or something." A CBS Baltimore piece published several weeks ago said it's still publicly unknown if the 24-year-old is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
One thing Jackson, a candidate in a crowded MVP race that has no real front-runner ahead of Thanksgiving Day, won't have to worry about Sunday is Bears All-Pro pass-rusher Khalil Mack. Mack recently missed time with a foot injury, and a report emerged Friday he's having season-ending foot surgery.
The Bears later confirmed that story.
"With him, it's been the last several weeks just trying to get right," Chicago head coach Matt Nagy said of Mack Friday, per Larry Mayer of the team's website. "I think we did everything as far as trying to attack it the right way with him, and I know he's put a lot of time and energy in trying to get back and see where things are at. But this is where we're at.
"I know he's frustrated because he's such a competitor. But this is the best thing for him and the best situation to be able to help him out and get it fixed."