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Monday, February 6, 2023

Ravens Tyler Huntley Once Again Called Upon in Relief Role

There are few teams that rely on their quarterback to make plays more than the Baltimore Ravens. Lamar Jackson doesn’t have an All-Pro list of pass catchers but still manages to be one of the league’s premier playmakers. Jackson’s playmaking ability may be put on the shelf momentarily after he sprained his PCL in Sunday’s 10-9 win over the Denver Broncos.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters that Jackson is “week to week.” Harbaugh added that it is less likely Jackson will suit up this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the meantime, backup quarterback Tyler Huntley will be called upon in a relief role for Jackson.

Huntley came on for Jackson on Sunday and completed 27 of his 32 throws for 187 yards passing and an interception. Huntley also rushed 10 times for 41 yards including the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Added Harbaugh, “Let’s give ‘Snoop’ [Tyler Huntley] credit; he led a game-winning drive at the end there from what, the nine-yard line was it? That’s pretty remarkable; that’s pretty great. So, hats off to our guys for doing that.”

The comeback win pushed the Ravens to 8-4 and kept them a game ahead of the surging Cincinnati Bengals. The two teams will meet in the season finale for what could be a clash for the AFC North division title, but Huntley has to keep the Ravens on track for however long Jackson needs to recover. This won’t be the first time Huntley had to be a reliever.

Huntley started four games for the Ravens last season and the club went 1-3 over that stretch. While the record wasn’t good, Huntley’s play impressed his teammates.

“This is not my first time seeing ‘Snoop’ [Tyler Huntley] out there,” outside linebacker Justin Houston said. “I was here last year, and I saw him throw ‘tuddies’ [touchdowns] over the best. I know, last year, some of the games didn’t turn out like we wanted [them] to, but with him in the game, I believe in him wholeheartedly. He’s shown he can play in this league and make plays time after time when he gets his opportunity. It was his time, and he stepped up to the plate.”

Huntley’s performance on Sunday reinforced it.

“Tyler Huntley has just so much confidence,” tight end Mark Andrews said after the game. “You see the way he plays. Things weren’t perfect, but for him to be able to come in – especially that last drive – and do what he did, and have the composure that he had, just shows you how good he really is, how much he’s learned. I’m thinking about Lamar [Jackson], but you have to tip your hat to ‘Snoop’ [Tyler Huntley] [and] just how well he played. It’s impressive football.”

The Ravens signed Huntley as an undrafted free agent out of Utah in 2020. Baltimore waived him and put him on the practice squad in September. Huntley was elevated to the active roster on December 2, December 19, December 26, and January 2, 2021, following injuries/COVID-19 issues from the Ravens’ three other quarterbacks. Now, Huntley is cemented as a capable backup quarterback to Jackson. Things have certainly changed for Huntley, but he isn’t taking anything for granted.

“I’m already blessed to be even playing with the Ravens,” Huntley said. “So, I think it starts there – it’s a blessing to be playing with the Baltimore Ravens, and everything else is going to take care of itself or after that.”

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