AFC North Notes: Lamar Jackson, Bengals, Ravens

Lamar Jackson

The Ravens have spent the 2019 offseason tailoring an offense around the unique skillset of Lamar Jackson. If the presence of former Georgia Tech triple-option guru Paul Johnson at Ravens practices is any indication, Baltimore will take full advantage of Jackson’s mobility. The second-year quarterback says he’ll still get his fair share of passing attempts, though. 

“Probably throwing, probably 30 passes a game,” Jackson said via Adam Schein of Mad Dog Sports Radio. “Running, I probably won’t have as many attempts as last year. We have a great backfield and we’re just going to take what the defense gives us and take advantage of it and just go from there.”


Bengals WR John Ross is starting to ease himself back into practice with the goal of playing Week 1 against the Seahawks. Ross has been dealing with a hamstring injury, which is a notoriously tricky injury to recover from. He’s working on staying patient, but his own extensive injury history and Cincinnati’s need at wide receiver without A.J. Green have ramped up the pressure on the third-year player.

“The hard part for me is just staying calm,” Ross said via Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I want to be so great. I just want to do so much. I think that’s why I tend to hurt myself when I try to do too much. Me being calm is the hardest thing for me. But I just try to stay modest about who I am and try to relax and just let my game speak for itself.”


  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec notes RB Tyler Ervin has been the most impressive returner on the roster, but the coaches might not want to devote an entire roster spot to that position. Cyrus Jones can return kicks and also play slot corner. 
  • Ravens WR Jaleel Scott‘s spot depends entirely on if Baltimore elects to keep six receivers on the 53-man roster. 
  • The retirement of Paul Worrilow helped UDFA LB Otaro Alaka‘s case for a roster spot as a fourth inside linebacker, though the rookie may still need a big fourth preseason game, per Zrebiec.
  • Zrebiec indicates RB Kenneth Dixon‘s absence in the third preseason game wasn’t a good sign for his roster chances, even if it was due to his knee soreness.
  • Zrebiec mentions RB De’Lance Turner and WR Antoine Wesley as practice squad candidates.
  • Ravens LB Shane Ray has continued to be outplayed by the other outside linebackers on the roster and his spot is in jeopardy without a strong fourth preseason game.
  • According to Zrebiec, the coaches will have their toughest call to make with CB Maurice Canady, who they believe is a capable NFL corner, but remains buried on the depth chart. 
  • Zrebiec writes sixth-round QB Trace McSorley is trending toward a roster spot with his strong play. 
  • Ravens HC John Harbaugh did say he’d been impressed by McSorley during camp and preseason: “Trace has definitely earned the right to be in our plans, one way or another.” (Zrebiec)
  • Harbaugh told reporters third-round DE Jaylon Ferguson exited the concussion protocol and could play Thursday. (Zrebiec)
  • Harbaugh added Ravens CB Tavon Young‘s status is “up in the air” right now. To be able to bring Young off injured reserve later in the year, Baltimore would have to carry him on the roster through cutdowns. (Jamison Hensley)

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