David Richard/Associated Press
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson explained his sudden absence during Monday night’s game against the Cleveland Browns in an interview after the 47-42 win, saying he “didn’t pull a Paul Pierce” when he was in the locker room during the fourth quarter.
Jackson was referring to Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals, when the Boston Celtics star needed a wheelchair to leave the court—because he didn’t make it to the bathroom in time.
The quarterback said he was suffering from cramping in his arm and then his legs, and he told ESPN’s Lisa Salters he needed an IV.
In Jackson’s absence, the Ravens turned to backup quarterback Trace McSorley. But after a three-and-out, the Browns used a 12-play, 70-yard drive to score a tying touchdown and add the go-ahead extra point with 6:33 to play.
McSorley injured his knee just before the two-minute warning on the ensuing drive, and almost as soon as he hit the ground, Jackson exited the locker room. And when he returned, he threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown. Jackson said he was stretching when he saw McSorley go down.
Though Jackson—who ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries and added 163 yards and a score on 11-of-17 passing—said cramps sent him to the sideline, those watching didn’t necessarily believe him. Even the Ravens’ Robert Griffin III, who was recently moved to injured reserve, joined in on the jokes.
The Ravens needed a last-second 55-yard field goal from Justin Tucker after the Browns tied it with 1:04 remaining, but Jackson’s return from the locker room still couldn’t have been scripted any better—for a movie or for Twitter.