Jackson missed the previous 10 days of camp, which is the NFL rule for unvaccinated players who receive a positive result. The former NFL MVP was activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday after undergoing testing at the team facility that morning.
Jackson’s return comes seven days before the Ravens’ preseason opener and five weeks before their Sept. 13 regular-season opener at the Las Vegas Raiders.
“We still have plenty of time … and I think we have enough time,” Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman said this week on Jackson getting up to speed. “The big thing is to get him healthy, get him right and make sure he’s in a good place.”
This marked the second time in eight months that Jackson had tested positive for the coronavirus. On Wednesday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan urged Jackson to get vaccinated. The only other Ravens player to be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list this year was running back Gus Edwards, who came back on Friday.
After missing the first eight full-team practices, Jackson is looking to gain chemistry with his new receivers and a rebuilt offensive line. To upgrade the NFL’s No. 32 passing attack, Baltimore added wide receiver Sammy Watkins and guard Kevin Zeitler in free agency and drafted wide receiver Rashod Bateman in the first round.
Roman indicated the team has a plan for Jackson to catch up with the rest of the offense.
“The train has already left the station,” Roman said. “It’s going to be a little bit of a game of, ‘We’re staying on schedule, but these are certain things we need to hit. So, we’ll get that done. [It’s] very realistic.”
The return of Jackson is desperately needed for the Ravens’ offense, which struggled mightily this week against the defense. Backup quarterbacks Trace McSorley and Tyler Huntley were under relentless pressure, and Huntley was picked off three times Wednesday.
Even with Jackson back, the Ravens’ offense is not at full strength. Offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) and tight end Nick Boyle (knee) are on the physically unable to perform list. Wide receivers Bateman (abdominal), Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (hamstring), and Miles Boykin (hamstring), as well as Zeitler (foot), have missed multiple practices this week with injuries.
Jackson is not scheduled to speak to reporters after practice.