OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens are officially Lamar Jackson’s team.
Jackson was named the starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Joe Flacco will serve as backup, coach John Harbaugh announced Wednesday.
For four weeks, Jackson has started because Flacco was dealing with a hip injury. Now with Flacco fully recovered, the Ravens are sticking with Jackson because the team feels the rookie first-round pick gives Baltimore the best chance of winning and reaching the playoffs.
“Every decision is based on what makes us the strongest possible team we can be. That’s what it boils down to,” Harbaugh said. “That’s how we feel about this decision and we’re rolling.”
Flacco, who led the Ravens to a Super Bowl in 2012, has never been a backup in his 11-year career. He acknowledged that he wasn’t surprised by the demotion.
“My overall thought about is obviously disappointed that I can’t be part of this team in the same capacity I have been for a long time,” Flacco said. “You always have to be ready and stay sharp and be ready to get the call at any point.”
Jackson has gone 3-1 in his first four starts and has pulled the Ravens back in the playoff hunt with a run-heavy offensive identity. His 336 yards rushing are the most by a quarterback in his first four starts in the Super Bowl era.
“I didn’t really have a reaction to when he was telling me,” Jackson said of being named a starter. “I just know I have to focus on everything a lot more to better myself.”