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Lamar responds to critics questioning injury: 'Let's get real'

Scott Taetsch / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is fighting back against speculation that he sat out at the end of the 2022 campaign due to the lack of a long-term deal.

A PCL injury sidelined Jackson for the last six games of the season, including the Ravens' playoff defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals. On Tuesday, Jackson stood by his decision not to return down the stretch.

"Let's get real," Jackson said on Twitter. "I rather have a 100% PCL than go out there and play horrible, forcing myself to put my guys in a bad situation. Now that's selfish to me."

Jackson didn't travel to the wild-card loss against the Cincinnati Bengals, and he announced prior to the matchup that he was diagnosed with a Grade 2 PCL sprain and that his knee was "unstable." Jackson said Tuesday the decision to stay back was made to help him recover faster.

The former league MVP made headlines this week after revealing he requested a trade from the Ravens in early March. Baltimore applied the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson this offseason after the two sides couldn't reach a long-term contract.

Other teams are free to negotiate a contract with Jackson, but it'll cost a club two first-round picks if the Ravens choose not to match an opposing offer.

Baltimore has been adamant throughout the process that Jackson will remain with the franchise. Head coach John Harbaugh said Monday that he's "confident" the two parties can work out a resolution.

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