There's been much ado regarding Lamar Jackson -- like multiple NFL quarterbacks -- being absent from organized team activities.
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is relatively unworried, however, and confident Jackson will be in attendance when he has to be at mandatory minicamp.
"I expect him to be here at mandatory minicamp," Harbaugh told reporters Wednesday amid OTAs. "I know he's working hard. Lamar Jackson's a hard worker, so I'm not worried about how hard he's working. I fully expect him to come back in great shape, that's what he talks about. I'm sure he's throwing, I'm sure he's doing a good job."
Jackson is entering the final season of his current contract, and with hopes for an extension lingering, scrutiny and the spotlight have increased amid the former AP NFL Most Valuable Player's absence.
Jackson, who joined other QBs such as Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady who did not attend their teams' OTAs, responded to some of criticism regarding his absence on May 27 and also said "I will be there," but did not specify exactly when.
The Ravens' mandatory minicamp is set to commence on June 14 and run through June 16. If Jackson remains absent then, he'll be subject to a fine from the team and perhaps some legitimate concern about why he's not in attendance.
Until then, though, Harbaugh is confident his QB of the last four seasons is taking care of business away from the squad.
When Jackson returns, he'll begin to get used to a wide receiver corps minus his former WR1, Marquise Brown, who was traded to the Arizona Cardinals. He'll also start getting acclimated to a new-look offensive line that features first-round center Tyler Linderbaum and veteran free-agent signings Morgan Moses and Ja'Wuan James.
"He's moving really well," Harbaugh said of James, who's coming back from an Achilles tear that led to his release from the Denver Broncos. "He looks good, he's in great shape. Feel great about him."
Moses, who played with the Jets in 2021, has also impressed Harbaugh.
"He's doing really well, so I'd say those two veteran tackles are major additions," Harbaugh said.
There's reason for optimism without Jackson at OTAs, and there's optimism from Harbaugh that Jackson will be there when he needs to be and hit the ground running.
"When he gets back here, we'll be rolling with Lamar," Harbaugh said. "Right now we roll with the guys we've got. When he gets here, he'll merge right in with everybody and we'll go to work with Lamar."