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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh declined to address whether reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson would play Tuesday against the Dallas Cowboys.

Jackson, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thanksgiving, will complete his 10-day quarantine this weekend. If Jackson is activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, that would allow him to participate in one full practice and a walk-through before facing the Cowboys.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was asked Thursday if Jackson would play against the Cowboys.

“I think I already answered that,” he said.

Harbaugh began his media session by saying the return of the players on the reserve/COVID-19 list is a medical decision and not a coaching one. Jackson is one of 17 players currently on Baltimore’s reserve/COVID-19 list.

By the weekend, the Ravens could get back 10 players off that list: Jackson, running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram, defensive ends Calais Campbell, Justin Madubuike and Jihad Ward, outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, centers Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura and long-snapper Morgan Cox.

“When the doctors clear them for practice, that’s when we’ll have them,” Harbaugh said.

Robert Griffin III, who filled in for Jackson in Wednesday’s 19-14 loss to the Steelers, left in the fourth quarter with an injured hamstring. The only healthy quarterbacks on Baltimore’s roster are Trace McSorley and Tyler Huntley, who is on the practice squad.

Punter Sam Koch, the Ravens’ emergency quarterback, won’t get any reps at quarterback this week.

“We won’t need him as a backup,” Harbaugh said.

The Ravens players had a day off and will return Friday for their first full practice since Nov. 20, a span of two weeks. The outbreak in Baltimore limited the team to a couple of walk-throughs. The Ravens had no positive tests Wednesday, which ended a stretch of 10 straight days with at least one player testing positive.

“We need to have some good practices and get our football sea legs under us so we can go out there and perform the way we want to,” Harbaugh said.

The Ravens have lost three straight games to fall to 6-5.

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Madden NFL 22 teases cover athletes with goats

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The Madden NFL 22 game cover will be released later this week. The day when we see which superstar nabs the cover is another big date on the NFL’s offseason calendar.

To promote this year’s cover release, EA Sports is teasing the identity of the athlete with literal goats. Former cover athlete Peyton Hillis interacts with the animals and reacts to the cover.

The video seems to promise two GOAT (greatest of all time) athletes. Given his Super Bowl win last season and his untouchable status as the NFL’s greatest QB, it’s safe to assume that Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady will be one of the athletes featured.

But who could join him? Could it be Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, who lost to Brady in Super Bowl LV? Maybe it’s a former or current Brady collaborator. Whomever it is, the ungulate ad men in the video aren’t saying.

Who do you think will be joining Brady?



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WR Jamison Crowder agrees to pay cut to remain with New York Jets, source says

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder, the team’s leading receiver the last two seasons, avoided the possibility of being released by agreeing to a pay cut, a source confirmed Monday.

Crowder was due to make a non-guaranteed $10 million in base pay for 2021, the final year of a three-year, $28.5 million contract. Details of the renegotiated contract weren’t immediately available, but the new deal is expected to significantly lower his $11.4 million cap charge.

The Jets are among the league leaders in cap space (about $27 million), but they approached Crowder recently about a reduction. Crowder, who turns 28 on Thursday, skipped the voluntary portion of the offseason as the two sides haggled over the contract. NFL Network first reported the agreement.

The Jets’ mandatory minicamp starts Tuesday, and Crowder is expected to attend.

Coach Robert Saleh was optimistic that a deal would get done, saying 10 days ago that “Jamison’s definitely got a role here and we’re excited to have him.”

After signing receivers Corey Davis and Keelan Cole in free agency, and drafting Elijah Moore in the second round, the Jets had the leverage in talks with Crowder. He led the team with 59 catches and 699 yards in 2020, but his production was down because he missed four games due to leg injuries. The Jets also finished 32nd in total offense for the second straight year.

Even though Crowder is back, it will be interesting to see if his role diminishes in the regular season. Moore, selected 34th overall, has impressed the coaches in offseason practices. Like Crowder, he’s a slot receiver.

In another contract-relation development, safety Marcus Maye reported to the facility Monday ahead of the minicamp. Maye, who signed his franchise-tag tender ($10.6 million) earlier in the offseason, skipped the voluntary practices as the two sides attempt to negotiate a long-term deal. The deadline is July 15. If they can’t agree to a deal, Maye will play the 2021 season for the amount of the tender.

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Cam Newton expected to practice at New England Patriots minicamp after hand injury during OTAs

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Ten days after sustaining a minor injury on his right throwing hand, New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton is expected to take part in the team’s mandatory minicamp beginning Monday, according to coach Bill Belichick.

Newton had not been present at last Thursday’s practice when reporters were present, but returned the following day. The hand apparently responded well.

“He practiced last week. I’d expect him this week too,” Belichick said Monday.

Newton has been taking top repetitions in spring practices, with Belichick having previously declared him the team’s quarterback. Belichick previously left open the possibility that Newton could face a challenge for the starting job when the team shifts from a spring teaching mode to more of an evaluation mode at the start of training camp in late July.

In Newton’s absence last Thursday, third-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham was the first player to take snaps, followed by veteran Brian Hoyer and then first-round draft pick Mac Jones.

Jones was complimentary of Newton, noting that he gave him the nickname “Mac and Cheese” while calling him a “good mentor.”

Another notable storyline at Patriots mandatory minicamp surrounds cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Gilmore is scheduled to earn a base salary of $7 million in 2021, which is below market value for a player of his caliber, and Belichick deflected a question when asked if he’s seen Gilmore at camp.

Gilmore is not present, according to the Boston Globe.

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