Ravens Quarterback Lamar Jackson Jumps the Gun on His Madden 21 Cover Reveal

Ravens Quarterback Lamar Jackson Jumps the Gun on His Madden 21 Cover Reveal

Judging by an EA tweet, the announcement was a bit premature.

Hardly two years into his professional football career, Lamar Jackson already has a list of trophies and awards to his name that would make seasoned players quiver. He won the Heisman Trophy in college, and last year he became the second player ever to win the year's NFL Most Valuable Player with a unanimous vote. Now, he's also going to be an EA Madden cover star... but, it seems he should've kept that under wraps a bit longer.

Jackson, quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, announced to reporters today that he'll grace the cover of Madden NFL 21. On social media, the Ravens quickly boosted the clips of Jackson's video conference. You'd think there'd be similar fanfare from the official EA Madden account, but it took about two hours for it to acknowledge the move. Evidently, Jackson and the Ravens actually didn't have the go-ahead for the big reveal.

"When the @Ravens leak your Cover Athlete..." reads a tweet from @EAMaddenNFL, the series' verified account. In a reply, the Madden account also linked to a recent piece from Complex Sports ranking the Twitter accounts of all the NFL teams that put the Ravens at number one. "We disagree," says the Madden account.

USgamer has reached out to EA regarding the announcement but has yet to receive a response. Presumably, EA will make its official rollout for the Madden NFL 21 cover star soon, but with some of the wind taken out of its sails it looks like EA's content to poke fun at the Ravens for rushing things.

If a seemingly botched announcement is the worst that being a Madden cover star has in store for Jackson, he got off easy. With the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl win earlier this year, quarterback and Madden 20 cover star Patrick Mahomes broke the so-called "Madden Curse" that's plagued players in the past. Mahomes was also voted NFL MVP a year before Chiefs' win. "I want that curse," says Jackson, himself the league's latest MVP. "I hope that's a curse."

USG's Editor-in-Chief Kat Bailey decided to skip a review of Madden 20 last year, saying she's "a little tired of writing the same review year after year." Every year there's a chance that the Madden series will shake things up for the better, and with the next-gen consoles on the horizon, hopes may ride a bit higher. But with both widespread game delays and the 2020 NFL season looking uncertain due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's kind of hard to count on seeing a new Madden this year. At least if we do, we apparently know who'll be on the cover.

Header photo by Shawn Hubbard, team photographer for the Baltimore Ravens.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

In other news

Xbox Is Hosting a Space Jam Game Jam Design Contest

We got a real (game) jam goin' now.

EA Agrees to $1.2 Billion Deal for Codemasters, Take-Two Now Reconsidering Its Lower Bid

Two publishing giants want the makers of the Dirt and Formula One games.

Windjammers 2 Delayed To 2021 As Devs Explore Adding Rollback Netcode

In pursuit of a disc-flinging esports renaissance, Dotemu's leaving this sequel in the oven a bit longer.

Need help?

FIFA 20 Best Young Players: Hidden Gems and Wonderkids With High Potential

Here’s a list of the players that have the most to gain in overall rating.

Madden 20 Face of the Franchise Tips - Teams, How to Get Drafted, and More

Here's our walkthrough for Madden 20's Face of the Franchise mode, featuring all the NFL teams, how to get drafted, and more.

All the Best Madden 20 Offensive Money Plays

Here's our guide compiling all the best Madden 20 money plays in one place, so you know which run or pass play to call whenever.

Madden 20: The Best Offensive Playbooks to Use

This is our walkthrough of the best Madden 20 offensive playbooks you can always rely on.