BALTIMORE (AP) — Lamar Jackson directed two scoring drives during a limited appearance, had an impressive touchdown run erased by a penalty and sparked the Baltimore Ravens to a 26-13 victory over the Green Bay Packers, who played Thursday night without quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers developed back stiffness and was a late scratch , a move the team labeled as a “precaution.” After being held out of Green Bay’s first preseason game against Houston, the seven-time Pro Bowl star was slated to start for the first time under rookie head coach Matt LaFleur.
Instead, DeShone Kizer, Tim Boyle and Manny Wilkins struggled against a defense that last year was ranked No. 1 in the NFL.
Rodgers has played 165 regular-season games since breaking into the league in 2005, so there was really no pressing need to get him into a game three weeks before the Sept. 5 opener against Chicago.
Jackson, on the other hand, needed the work. Coming off a rookie season in which he didn’t start until mid-November, Jackson is seeking to master a new playbook devised by first-year coordinator Greg Roman.
Jackson started and played three series last week in a 29-0 rout of Jacksonville. This time, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner stuck around for two possessions, both of which ended with field goals. He completed 6 of 10 passes for 58 yards and ran twice for 14 yards.
His best play displayed both his speed and elusiveness, but ultimately went for naught. On third-and-10 from the Green Bay 18, Jackson thrust forward from the pocket, sidestepped Tramon Williams and jumped over Jaire Alexander at the 5. He then high-stepped through the end zone before handing the ball to a fan.
“The four-man rush gave me a lane, our receivers were covered and I just did what I do best,” Jackson said.
The play was called back because of an illegal block by Willie Snead, and Baltimore (2-0) settled for the second of Justin Tucker’s four field goals.
Rookie Trace McSorley threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Chris Moore in the second quarter to make it 13-3.
Green Bay (1-1) got its lone touchdown in the third quarter on a 7-yard pass from Boyle to rookie Darrius Shepherd.
The Ravens have won 15 straight preseason games, 34 of the last 43 and 19 of the last 22 at home.
Ravens LF Chris Board sustained a concussion in the second quarter.
Ravens tight end Nick Boyle had every intention of leaping over Adrian Amos after catching a first-quarter pass. Problem is, Amos stayed upright. So Boyle ended up planting a foot in Amos’ chest and was thrown backward.
Packers: A matchup against the Oakland Raiders next Thursday comes with a twist. The game will be held north of the border in Winnipeg.
Ravens: Following two days of joint practices with the Eagles next week, Baltimore plays on Thursday night in Philadelphia.
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