Lamar Jackson doesn’t drop the ball often. The second-year Baltimore Ravens quarterback finished his first year as the full-time starter with one of the most impressive seasons ever put together. He led the league in touchdowns thrown (36) and set an NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback (1,206). Jackson was named the NFL MVP, running away (ha!) with the accolade despite elite competition from other quarterbacks.
However, Jackson sort of fumbled today even though all sports are indefinitely postponed. In a from-home video chat with the Ravens’ social media team, Jackson revealed that he’s the cover athlete on Madden 21. The way he makes the announcement — awkwardly and unsure-sounding — leaves the realistic possibility that maybe Jackson wasn’t supposed to say anything just yet. See for yourself:
Lamar says he’ll be on the cover of Madden: pic.twitter.com/bPtzFBIlVI
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) April 21, 2020
For what it’s worth, EA Sports hasn’t updated any social sites to confirm Jackson as Madden 21‘s cover star. Likewise, we haven’t received a press release from Electronic Arts. These efforts are usually coordinated, and EA’s inaction lends credibility to the theory that this was a big whoopsie on Jackson’s part. Someone’s probably scrambling to write a press release right now.
Intentional reveal or not, there was never really another good choice for the cover of Madden 21. Jackson was only the second unanimously-voted MVP in NFL history (the other was Tom Brady in 2010), and his 2019 campaign was eye-poppingly impressive as both a passer and a rusher. By all accounts — here’s one account that wonders aloud “Is Jackson a Jedi?” — his 2019 season was transcendent and will be remembered for years to come. If that’s not enough to convince you, the only other reasonably-acceptable choice, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (and newly-anointed Super Bowl MVP), was just on the Madden cover last year.
[Update: EA Sports has responded with the following tweet, very much indicating that Jackson was too loose-lipped on today’s stream:
— Madden NFL 20 #StayandPlay (@EAMaddenNFL) April 21, 2020