Ravens QB Jackson struggles in NFL debut


Ravens QB Jackson struggles in NFL debut Ravens QB Jackson struggles in NFL debut

Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson made his NFL debut and predictably struggled Thursday night in the Hall of Fame Game at Canton Ohio.

Jackson, the second of Baltimore’s first-round picks (No. 32 overall) in this year’s NFL Draft, played much of the second half in the Ravens’ 17-16 win over the Chicago Bears.

The former Heisman Trophy winner from Louisville finished 4 of 10 for 33 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception. He also rushed eight times for 25 yards.

“I thought it was pretty good,” Jackson said of his performance, per the NFL Network. “I scored a touchdown. It’s hard to score in the NFL.”

The highlight for Jackson was an 8-yard scoring strike to rookie tight end Hayden Hurst, Baltimore’s other first-round selection (No. 25 overall) in this year’s draft. He also showed elusiveness and pocket awareness on a 10-yard scramble.

However, Jackson also was intercepted by Doran Grant on an attempted deep pass, went three-and-out on two possessions and was sacked three times.

“Everybody kind of has these expectations that they’re going to see fireworks,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson’s first NFL action. “I think that he played well. The first task we gave him was to operate the offense, and he did. He got the plays called, he got people lined up, he got snap counts off — and, you know, that stuff gets taken for granted.

“He’s a rookie quarterback out there for the first time handling the whole offense. I thought he did a very good job, and that’s what I asked him to do today. … I thought he handled himself well.”

Former No. 2 overall pick Robert Griffin III, who is vying with Jackson for the backup job behind starter Joe Flacco, acquitted himself well by completing 7 of 11 passes for 58 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Like Flacco, Bears starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was a spectator. Backup quarterback Chase Daniel was 8 of 16 for 53 yards with one TD pass and two picks. Tyler Bray led a belated fourth-quarter comeback and finished 18 of 34 for 181 yards and a scoring pass.

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