Lamar Jackson (illness) expected to play vs. Bengals

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The Baltimore Ravens will be going from facing an undefeated foe to a winless one this week.

On Thursday, they prepared to do so without Lamar Jackson.

The Ravens quarterback missed Thursday's practice due to an illness. The illness is not serious and will not impact his availability for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero added.

Baltimore is soaring after taking down the previously unbeaten New England Patriots in a 37-20 primetime win last week, and Jackson has been the talk of the town yet again after accounting for three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) and completing 17 of 23 passes for 163 yards and a 107.7 passer rating.

Since Baltimore's Week 4 loss to Cleveland, Jackson has quietly assembled a standout season that could land him in the MVP conversation should he continue at this pace. Right now, Jackson is in line to set the new single-season rushing record for a quarterback, a mark currently owned by game-changing signal-caller Michael Vick. He has more rushing yards (637) by himself than the entire Bengals roster does this season (476), and the Ravens are on pace to become the first team to average more than 200 rushing yards per game since the 1977 Chicago Bears.

That Bears team featured future Hall of Famer Walter Payton. This Ravens team features Jackson, Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards.

Even against the winless Bengals, Jackson's participation is essential for the Ravens. He is the engine that makes this offense, and really, this entire team go. Here's to hoping he'll only need a decongestant or some Vitamin C in order to play.

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