The Baltimore Ravens received a valiant performance from backup quarterback Tyler Huntley during the team’s Week 15 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He scored a total of four touchdowns and was a failed two-point conversation away from leading Baltimore to a massive win over Aaron Rodgers and his company.
While Huntley’s incredible performance is one of the better feel-good stories of this year’s regular season, the truth is that the Ravens need their former MVP winner, Lamar Jackson, back below the middle for the final stretch. Currently number 8 in the AFC, it’s hard to imagine the Ravens fighting their way back into the wildcard picture without Jackson.
Raven’s HC John Harbaugh gave a disturbing update on Lamar Jackson
Jackson suffered an ankle sprain during the Ravens’ week 14 loss to the Cleveland Browns, hence his unavailability last week. The initial hope was that it was nothing more than a lower ankle sprain and Jackson would be able to get back to the line-up pretty quickly. Head coach Jim Harbaugh’s update paints a completely different picture, however.
“I don’t have any updates on that [Jackson’s health]”Said Harbaugh. “That’s wait and see for all of these guys. Every single guy you will ask me about is going to be day in and day out. We’ll just see where they are as we go. “
With a massive Week 16 game with the Cincinnati Bengals just around the corner, it’s hard to consider this update anything other than worrying. It’s relatively uncommon for coaches to be unsure of a player’s health on Wednesday, followed by a game on Sunday. Common sense suggests Jackson won’t be available this weekend.
Lamar Jackson is still not practicing
Following Harbaugh’s ominous update, it was also revealed that Jackson had been kept out of the Ravens’ Wednesday training session. Again, it is unusual for players to miss Wednesday training due to injury and play the following Sunday.
Jackson still has time to get well and practice again. It is worth asking, however, if the Ravens intended to create Huntley anyway. Jackson had struggled during his last few starts while Huntley stood out against a very challenging opponent.
That doesn’t mean Huntley is better than Jackson by any means. However, a 100% Huntley will likely give the Ravens a better chance of winning than a Jackson with less than 100%.
The Ravens desperately need a win this weekend
Aside from Jackson’s current injury issues, the Ravens desperately need to find a way to win this weekend. You have lost three times in a row and don’t have time to make up ground.
For starters, the AFC North is currently the most competitive league in the NFL. Each team in the division has between seven and nine wins – tiebreakers could easily decide the final standings. In addition, the race for the three wildcard places in the AFC is going to be hot. The Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Chargers feel like locks for the # 5 and # 6, with an all-out scramble for last spot currently going on.
The Buffalo Bills, Las Vegas Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Miami Dolphins are all in the mix alongside Baltimore.
Whether Huntley or Jackson are at the center against Cincinnati, they have to find a way to get the win.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
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