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Ravens’ Lamar Jackson is the next Madden cover athlete

Another young star takes the coveted cover

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auarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens carries the ball against the defense of the Tennessee Titans during the 2020 AFC Divisional Playoff game Photo: Will Newton/Getty Images

Lamar Jackson, the thrilling young quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens, will appear on the cover of this year’s Madden game. Jackson made the announcement himself Tuesday afternoon, surprising the world during a conference call with the media.

“It’s always been a dream of mine, since I was a little kid, since I first started playing Madden,” said Jackson. “I done had every Madden, so for me to be on the front of it, that’s a dream come true.”

Jackson, 23, is coming off an incredible sophomore season in which he led the NFL with 36 passing touchdowns; on the ground, he set a record for quarterbacks with 1,206 rushing yards. With that 2019 campaign, Jackson won the league’s MVP award, becoming only the second player in NFL history to do so unanimously.

As for the so-called Madden curse, Jackson said he isn’t concerned. Of course, the new cover athlete always says that, but Jackson’s predecessor — Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes II, who graced the Madden NFL 20 cover — finally lifted the hex in February. Not only did Mahomes lead the Chiefs to a comeback victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV; he won the Super Bowl MVP award, to boot.

“I’m not worried about a curse,” said Jackson. “Patrick Mahomes on the front; he won the MVP. So I will avoid that curse.”

Mahomes was the MVP for the 2018 season, the year before he brought the Chiefs their first championship in 50 years. Jackson is hoping to pull off the same feat.

“I’d love to follow that path right there: MVP, then Super Bowl,” said Jackson. “That’d be a great path to follow right there — I hope it happens, too.”

Of course, the status of the 2020 football season is up in the air due to the coronavirus, even though kickoff isn’t until September. The NFL and its fans are hoping that the pandemic will have subsided by then, but either way, Madden typically launches in August, so football aficionados should be able to get their fix there. For its part, Madden publisher Electronic Arts has yet to officially announce Jackson as the cover athlete for what will presumably be called Madden NFL 21. We’ve reached out to EA for comment, and we’ll update this article with any information we receive.

Update: EA confirmed Jackson as this year’s Madden cover athlete in a post on the series’ Twitter account, but it seems that he jumped the gun on the announcement — the company chastised the Ravens’ account for a “leak” of the news. We’re still awaiting an official statement from EA.

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