BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In his first press conference since testing positive for COVID-19 for the second time and missing over a week of practice, Ravens star QB Lamar Jackson said Monday that he’s going to follow NFL protocol to the best of his abilities amid a flurry of questions about his vaccination status.
Jackson said ultimately his vaccination status is a personal decision.
“People are gonna feel how they wanna feel about certain situations and you just gotta go about it however you wanna go about it,” Jackson said. “I feel it’s a personal decision. I’m just going to worry about that with my family and keep my feelings to my family and myself and focus on getting better right now.
But going about it his way could be hard. CBS News reported in late July that the NFL might force teams who have coronavirus outbreaks among unvaccinated players to forfeit, causing games to be canceled.
“I’m just gonna follow the NFL protocols as much as I can, the best that I can,” said Jackson. I’m not worried about it, you know last year I came down with Covid I felt like we did a pretty good job.”
Jackson said he wasn’t handling the isolation too well, seeing practice highlights on social media.
“I think I’m mentally handling it well right now, you know now I’m back, Jackson said. “When I was at home I wasn’t doing too good cause I was missing my guys and I’m watching highlights on Instagram and Twitter I’m like, I wish I was out there they’re looking good, you know?”
But just because he was watching from home doesn’t mean he wasn’t putting work in. Jackson said he worked out in his backyard during his isolation, mainly practicing his throwing and footwork.
Jackson’s first day back at practice was Saturday. Head coach John Harbaugh said Saturday he got “hit pretty hard with the symptoms.”
It was mostly short throws and handoffs for Jackson.
“I thought he looked better than expected, coming off 10 days away. COVID is tough, and he had symptoms. It speaks to how well he took care of himself during that time. He came out and practiced well,” Harbaugh said.
Jackson said he had most of the same symptoms as the last time he contracted the virus over Thanksgiving, but this time he retained his sense of taste and smell.