The Baltimore Ravens did on Sunday what the Pittsburgh Steelers could not for the past two weeks: Win games you otherwise should win while playing a number of backups. And like the Steelers last week, the Ravens had to make a sudden adjustment at quarterback, though they were prepared for the contingency.
Lamar Jackson has been battling an illness for the past week that has been characterized as non-COVID-19 (he’s already had it twice, including just a few months ago), as well as non-flu. That’s all that has been detailed, but it was significant enough that he was held out as a game-time decision, despite showing up to the stadium.
That forced Tyler Huntley to the main stage, making his first career start, though he certainly had to earn it, taking six sacks and needing a fourth-quarter comeback to secure the victory. Reportedly, Jackson was the first one to greet him in the locker room to celebrate his success. It figures to be his last start for a while, though, as their starter is feeling better.
“He felt good today. I don’t know how good, but he was feeling much better today from what I was told”, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told reporters on Monday when he was asked about the status of their starter. “I haven’t seen him”.
He also told reporters that they are hopeful he will be ready to participate in today’s walkthrough practice, though he would not go so far as to use the word ‘expecting’. Still, there’s plenty of time left between now and their next game.
That will be a game against the Cleveland Browns, who squeaked by a Detroit Lions team playing a backup quarterback on Sunday, 13-10, having been met with a chorus of boos by their fans for, frankly, being so underwhelming.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield has been dealing with injuries nearly all season, and did not play well at all. He ducked his media responsibilities post-game, but did speak to reporters yesterday, and acknowledged he did so out of frustration. He also said he didn’t care about fans booing him, because they are probably the same ones who don’t shut up when the offense is on the field.
They do have Nick Chubb back, however, and he played like Nick Chubb. He rushed for 130 yards on 22 carries, and he added a score via reception, the team’s only touchdown on the day. As a Steelers fan whose team is sandwiched in between the two, here’s hoping the Browns can ride the running game to a victor over the Ravens, in Baltimore, Sunday night. I’m not getting my hopes up, though.