Duty calls, but so does COVID-19.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson caused a stir when he left in the middle of the fourth quarter of the Ravens’ eventual 47-42 win over the Browns on Monday night. When cameras caught the 2019 MVP jogging to the locker room, many thought he was “pulling a Paul Pierce,” who famously left during Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals and revealed years later that it was to keep from pooping himself on national TV.
But Jackson, who has denied the notion that he had to go number two and said it was just cramps, revealed that his recent bout with coronavirus could be to blame for his sudden cramping.
“Probably. Probably because of the body heat and we’re running in the cold,” he told reporters, per ESPN. “It was so cold out there. That probably had an effect on that as well. I can’t call it.”
After testing positive for COVID-19 on Thanksgiving, Jackson was “hit pretty hard” by the virus’ symptoms, according to team officials. Jackson said he spent most of his 10-day quarantine sleeping before returning to the team on Dec 6.
Jackson retreated to the locker room for 13 minutes during Monday’s dramatic win in Cleveland, in which the Ravens improved to 8-5. He said he had cramping his throwing arm and both calves.
“I was real-life cramping, like my hand, my throwing arm cramping, forearm cramping, fingers getting stuck together,” Jackson said. “I was going through it. I was ticked off.”
After returning with less than two minutes left on the clock, Jackson threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown, then set up Baltimore in field goal range for Justin Tucker’s game-winning 55-yard kick.