The uphill battle Lamar Jackson faces against the Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens / Rob Carr/GettyImages

The biggest storyline for this weekend's Wild Card matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens is whether or not Lamar Jackson will be healthy enough to start. Jackson was injured in a Week 13 game and has not practiced or played since then.

There have been conflicting reports about Jackson all week long but Ian Rapoport noted that the Ravens quarterback has an "uphill battle" to play this weekend. Jordan Schultz noted that Jackson is still suffering from extreme swelling and has been "pretty limited".

Dan Patrick, on the other hand, said on his Wednesday show that he expects Jackson to play on Sunday night.

Will Lamar Jackson play against the Bengals?

Obviously, the Ravens have a better shot against Cincinnati if Jackson doesn't play but even if the former first-round pick does suit up and play for Baltimore on Sunday, there's no way he'll be as threatening as he normally is. Jackson also has a future contract to play for so will he want to risk further injury if he's not fully healthy and ready to go?

Bengals fans would probably rather not see Jackson on Sunday night but at the same time, if Jackson does play, Ravens fans can't use the "It was our backup quarterback!" excuse all offseason long.

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The final injury report comes out on Friday and then the inactives will be announced an hour and a half before game time. Don't be surprised if the Ravens wait until the last minute to announce whether or not Jackson will be playing.