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Ravens Quarterback Lamar Jackson Is Still Skeptical About Vaccine After Second Bout Of COVID

Just prior to pre-season training camp, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson tested positive for the coronavirus — for the second time. 

“Again?! It was crazy,” the 24-year-old said when he discovered he contracted the virus again, NFL.com reported. “I was heartbroken. Because I wasn’t looking forward to that at all, right before camp, it was like ‘not again. Not right now.’ But it’s over with.”

Jackson shared that his second bout was just as difficult as the first, if not more so, because he felt like he was missing out on training with his teammates.

“When I was at home I wasn’t doing too good because I was missing my guys,” the NFL player said, adding that he was heavily fatigued. “It was like, man, I need to get back out there with my guys.”

The Florida native first tested positive for COVID-19 in November 2020, following an outbreak amongst Ravens players during a competitive playoff stretch. A week 12 game against the Steelers was postponed three times until finally taking place in Pittsburgh.

Following one of the largest outbreaks in sports, The Ravens’ current vaccination rate “is in the 90% range and rising,” according to a source close to the team, The Baltimore Sun reported. The Ravens’ coaching staff is fully vaccinated, but inoculation is not yet required for players.  

“I think everybody makes that choice for themselves,” coach John Harbaugh said in June. “That’s what I told the guys last night: It’s your individual decision. There are things that go with being vaccinated. There are things that go with not being vaccinated. So everybody understands that, and guys will make those choices for themselves.”

When asked if he plans to join the vaccinated, Jackson said he’s still on the fence.  

“I just got off the COVID list, so I’ve got to talk to my team doctors and try to see how they feel about it,” he said. “Keep learning as much as I can about it, and we’ll go from there.”

“I feel it’s a personal decision,” Jackson continued. “I’m just going to keep my feelings to my family and myself. I’m focused on getting better right now. I can’t dwell on that right now…how everybody else feels.”

Another NFL player, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, said he won’t receive the vaccine for personal and private reasons, but has highly considered implementing plexiglass into the locker room to barricade himself from others. Cousins was benched and added to the COVID-19/reserve list after he came into close contact with quarterback Kellen Mond, who tested positive. 

“I’m going to be vigilant about avoiding a close contact,” Cousins said according to WKYC. “I even thought about, should I just set up, literally, plexiglass around where I sit, so that this never happens again. I thought about it, because I’m going to do whatever it takes.”

Eighty-five percent of the NFL’s players have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 14 of the NFL’s 32 clubs have vaccination rates over 90 percent, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

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