The Baltimore Ravens are in a tailspin. They have lost four consecutive games and are very much at risk of missing the postseason. To make matters worse, they are facing the Los Angeles Rams today, and they are not expected to start Lamar Jackson at quarterback, who has missed the past two games due to an ankle injury.
After missing two weeks of practice, Jackson returned as a limited participant on Wednesday, but then he did not practice on Thursday or Friday. In spite of that, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh insisted on listing him as questionable to play.
It is possible that he still dresses as an emergency option, but early-morning reports are that Baltimore is planning for Tyler Huntley to be the starter. The second-year quarterback gave the Green Bay Packers all they could handle two weeks ago, but he missed the team’s last game after being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. That required them to start Josh Johnson, a 35-year-old journeyman who was only signed days before.
The #Ravens may give it until before game-time, but sources say the belief heading into today is that QB Tyler Huntley is the likely starter vs. the #Rams. Lamar Jackson hasn’t been ruled out, but the ankle did not allow him to practice Thursday or Friday. Not a good sign.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 2, 2022
The Ravens are now 8-7, riding a four-game losing streak, as previously mentioned, beginning with a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, followed by losses to both the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals bookending the home loss to Green Bay.
They have only had one four-game losing streak during the Harbaugh era prior to this season. Should they fall to the Rams today, it would mark the first five-game losing streak of Harbaugh’s 14-year coaching tenure.
And the Rams, by the way, are one of the best teams in the league, in case you haven’t been following along, with an 11-4 record, their losses coming at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals, the Tennessee Titans, the Packers, and the San Francisco 49ers.
Los Angeles sits sixth in scoring offense this season, while Baltimore ranks 20th in scoring defense. One of the best passing offenses in the league will be squaring up a very depleted but nonetheless league-worst pass defense featuring a severely depleted secondary with strong safety Chuck Clark as the only starter still healthy.
Truth be told, the Ravens have been absolutely decimated by injuries this season, and it’s even worse if you expand the view beyond just season-ending injuries. The fact that Jackson, by far their most important player, has missed several games says it all.
In a random statistic nobody will probably care about, it is highly likely that Jackson will end his unparalleled record of consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons by a quarterback at two. He is, after all, only one of two quarterbacks to ever rush for 1,000 yards in a season, and the only one to do it once. He only has 767 rushing yards in 12 games this year, with only two games left to play—and he likely won’t even play today.