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Ravens' Lamar Jackson to be 'Madden 21' cover star

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will be on the cover for Madden 21, which will likely be released in August. File Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will be on the cover for Madden 21, which will likely be released in August. File Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

April 21 (UPI) -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will be the cover athlete for Madden 21.

The 2019-2020 NFL MVP announced the honor Tuesday during a conference call. Jackson, 23, passed for 3,127 yards, 36 scores and six interceptions last season. He also ran for 1,206 yards and seven scores, setting the single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback.

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Jackson said he isn't worried about the rumored Madden curse from previous years. Several players were injured in the season after which they appeared on the cover. The latest cover stars haven't had such bad luck.

Madden 20 cover star Patrick Mahomes earned the honor after he won the 2018-2019 MVP award. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback sustained a knee injury this year, but recovered to win the Super Bowl. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was on the cover of Madden 18 and led his team to a Super Bowl appearance.

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"Yeah, [EA Sports] talked to me, I will be on the cover of Madden," Jackson said. "I'm not worried about a curse. Patrick Mahomes was on the front ... so I want that curse."

EA Sports -- the producer of the Madden series -- has not announced a release date for the football video game. Previous versions of Madden have been released in August.

"It's always been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, since I first started playing Madden," Jackson said. "It's dope. I've had every Madden,' so for me to be on the front, it's a dream come true."

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Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis was the last Ravens player to appear on the cover, in 2005. The Ravens will join the Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions and New England Patriots as the only franchises to have players on the cover more than once.

Former NFL coach and commentator John Madden was on the cover for the first 11 editions. Titans running back Eddie George was the first athlete to be appear on the cover for Madden 2001.

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