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BALTIMORE – The Ravens will look to keep their playoff hopes alive with Tyler Huntley.
Lamar Jackson was ruled out for a third straight game, meaning Huntley will start as the quarterback for Sunday’s crucial game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Jackson had been questionable after missing the last two workouts of the week due to a right ankle injury. He has not played since suffering an ankle injury on Dec. 12, when Baltimore lost to Cleveland 24-22.
Huntley will look to help the plunged Ravens (8-7) finish their four-game losing streak that has put them in the playoffs. If Baltimore wins, its playoff chances will rise to 59%, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index. If the Ravens lose, their chances after the season drop to 8%.
Huntley, who was not pulled out of Utah in 2020, has proven to be a more than capable replacement for Jackson, playing better than his 1-1 record, as a starter would indicate. He led a battle-winning drive in the fourth quarter in his first start (a 16-13 win in Chicago on Nov. 21) and nearly gave Baltimore a 21-point deficit after taking over for Jackson early in the second quarter in Cleveland in three weeks. aug.
In his final start – a 31-30 loss to the Green Bay Packers on December 19 – Huntley became the first Ravens player to record multiple touchdown passes and touchdown runs in a game. He was scheduled to start last Sunday’s game in Cincinnati before being tested positive for COVID-19 the day before.
After being activated from the reserve / COVID-19 list on Thursday, Huntley took on the Baltimore first-team representatives in the final two workouts of the week. Huntley’s backup will be Josh Johnson, a 35-year-old lad who threw 304 yards and two touchdowns in last Sunday’s 41-21 loss to Cincinnati.
“It’s football at the end of the day,” Huntley said of being pushed into pressured situations. “We can never lose sight of it and we can not put too much pressure on ourselves because we are just people playing a small child’s game. So I do not look at it too much. I’m just trying to do it. My job and I think that’s what works for me. “
The Ravens have reached the playoffs in each of Jackson’s first three seasons and had hopes that the 2019 NFL MVP will return this week. But Jackson limped violently during Wednesday’s practice, his first job on the field in 17 days, and sat out with training on Thursday and Friday.
Jackson, who was selected for the Pro Bowl, has now been out of the game for four games this season after missing only two of his first 37 starts from 2018 to 2020.
The Ravens are currently No. 8 seeded in the AFC playoff field with seven teams. If the Baltimore beat the Rams and the Miami Dolphins lose to the Tennessee Titans this week, the Ravens will control their own playoff fate in Week 18.
There is a possibility that Baltimore could be knocked out of the postseason race just five weeks after having the best record in the AFC. The Ravens can be eliminated from the playoffs with a loss and three teams all winning (Raiders, Chargers and Dolphins); or if they lose, the Raiders and Chargers lose, the Dolphins and Bills win, and different strength-of-win scenarios unfold.