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Ravens QB Lamar Jackson still managing back issue, doesn't want to wear additional pads

Lamar Jackson's 2021 season has included a few appearances on the injury report, though only once for physical ailment.

Jackson's back caused him problems in the lead up to Baltimore's Week 4 win over Denver, and it remains a topic of conversation. Jackson has missed practice time due to his back issues, prompting reporters to ask if he'll add some extra pads to his gear in Week 5.

Jackson's answer: No, I do not want to wear additional armor that might weigh me down.

"I feel like if I put on extra pads and stuff like that, I'll be looking like a transformer," the quarterback said, via ESPN's Jamison Hensley. "I don't want to be slowed down. But I just feel we should be protecting all QBs in the league, not just myself."

Jackson's back could be seen as a vulnerability, especially considering his highly dangerous mobility that often leaves him susceptible to taking additional hits. Adding protective gear would make sense, then, in order to allow Jackson to continue playing with his trademark style.

Since he won't wear additional pads, it's fair to continue to ask about his back and how it might affect him going forward. That includes robbing him of practice reps, which are sometimes more valuable to some than others.

No worries, Jackson said.

"I would've practiced last week if my back wasn't hurt," Jackson said. "And then the next day, my training staff they wanted me to sit out for my back, don't have any problems with me moving and stuff like that, so that's why I sat out that day. I don't think it impacted at all. Me sitting out it helped my back heal up faster, the soreness go away and I was able to perform."

Jackson certainly performed well in Week 4, completing 22 of 37 passes for 316 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens' win in the Broncos. He added 28 yards on seven carries, finishing off another game with nearly 350 scrimmage yards.

The Ravens' chances rest on Jackson's availability, so his health will continue to be a topic. He's taking a chance by not adding some gear to keep him protected, but as we've all learned by now, Jackson is incredibly elusive. It's not often a defender gets a free shot on him, anyway.

If less pads maintains that slippery nature, so be it. Jackson is going to continue to do it his way, even if that means a few appearances on the weekly injury report.

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