On Monday, the Pittsburgh Steelers returned to the practice facility to prep for this week’s upcoming game against the Baltimore Ravens after winning their second-straight game in Atlanta on Sunday 19-16.
The Baltimore Ravens narrowly edged out the Denver Broncos by a score of 10-9 yesterday in Baltimore, but lost star QB Lamar Jackson during the game to a knee injury. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Jackson’s injury isn’t considered season-ending, but he could still miss some time after suffering what he was told to be a knee sprain which would be reevaluated via MRI today to know the extent of the injury and how much time he may miss.
The Ravens turned to backup QB Tyler Huntley yesterday who did just enough to hold off the Broncos and help Baltimore edge out Denver for the win. Regardless of if Jackson returns to the lineup or not this week to face the Steelers, OLB Alex Highsmith recognizes that the team cannot overlook what Huntley brings to the table as the team’s potential starter in Week 14.
“Like I said, Huntley is a very unique talent as well when it comes to him throwing and passing,” Highsmith said to the media on Monday in the locker room on video from Chris Adamski’s Twitter page. “So, we just got to be locked in on him as well. They got so many weapons on offense, so we just got to lock in and be on out P’s and Q’s and just really have a good game plan against these guys.”
Huntley came in for Jackson and completed 27-of-32 pass attempts (84.4%) for 187 yards and zero TDs while throwing an INT. However, he did chip in ten rushes for 41 yards and Baltimore’s lone TD of the day with his legs, speaking to the dual-threat ability Huntley has that Highsmith mentioned.
Huntley may not be the dynamic runner that Jackson is on the ground with his legs or possess the arm talent the former MVP has, but he has established himself as one of the best backups in the league over the last two seasons. He played in seven games last season and started four as Jackson was hampered by injuries and completed nearly 65% of his passes for 1,081 yards and three TDs with four INTs. Huntley also carried the ball 47 times for 294 yards and two scores on the ground.
Huntley started Week 18 against the Steelers in what was a must-win game for Pittsburgh and didn’t play particularly well, throwing for 141 yards on 31 pass attempts with two INTs and zero TDs. Still, Huntley did run for 72 yards on 12 attempts, showing the Steelers that they must respect him as a runner much like they do Jackson when he is in the lineup. While losing Jackson would be a big blow for Baltimore’s chances this week, Huntley deserves the Steelers’ respect as a player that has kept Baltimore afloat when called upon and will try to do so again if necessary.