The Baltimore Ravens didn’t have their starting quarterback out at practice on Friday due to an illness but he will be under center for the offense on Sunday when they host the Carolina Panthers for a Week 11 interconference matchup according to head coach John Harbaugh.
“He’ll be fine for Sunday,” he said in a press conference on November 18. “He tried to get to practice, but was just too sick.”
This marked Jackson’s first missed practice of the season and he has also yet to miss a game to injury or illness this season after having missed five games last season for such reasons.
The undisclosed illness that the Ravens star signal-caller might have come down with what was likely a classic case of ‘baby fever’ because according to his Instagram account, he was present for the birth of the newest addition to the Jackson family in his second daughter.
Tyler Huntley is “Ready” To Go If Needed
The Ravens’ offense would still be in more than capable hands if Jackson weren’t able to play on Sunday since they are fortunate to have arguably the best backup quarterback in the league. Huntley started four games for the team last season in place of Jackson for either illness or injury-related reasons and even though he went 1-3 in those games, he showed a lot of promise and efficiently ran the offense.
He followed that up with a very strong 2022 preseason in which he went 31-of-36 for 263 passing yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions and run for 26 yards on five carries. The former undrafted free agent played so well that he reportedly garnered serious trade interest from some quarterback-needy teams around the league but his value to the Ravens was two great given his ideal fit for the Ravens offense in terms of familiarity with the system and dynamic dual-threat skillset.
“I have to be prepared to get ready for everything, so I’m not tripping,” Huntley said. “Sometimes I feel like he needs a break. He’s probably the only one in this facility that’s at practice every day. A day off isn’t a bad thing. He was a little under the weather so, shoot, some days people don’t go into work because they’re a little under the weather. Just one of those days.”
His lone win as a starter came in his first in Week 11 last year when the team traveled to the Windy City to play a struggling Chicago Bears team and Jackson couldn’t play due to an illness. Huntley fared well in that matchup and led the Ravens to a decisive 16-13 victory. He went 26-of-36 for 219 passing yards and one interception and ran the ball seven times for 40 yards.
All-Pro Cornerback Gives Jackson High Praise
Even though the Ravens’ star quarterback doesn’t always get his due respect in the national media unless he throws for over 300 yards, five touchdowns, and a perfect passer rating, his peers around the league and especially the ones that have had the daunting task of trying to defend almost always do when asked or even unprompted.
In an appearance on LeBron James’ show ‘The Shop’ that was being broadcasted live during the primetime interconference matchup between the Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers Thursday Night Football, three-time All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey of the defending Superbowl champion Los Angeles Rams did just that.
When asked who is the best quarterback that he has faced in his career from an overall standpoint, he paid homage to future Hall of Famer Tom Brady by giving him the nod understandably. However, when he asked who is best he’s faced in terms of talent, he named Jackson even though fellow celebrity guest, Jamie Foxx, was clamoring for him to name Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes.
“Mahomes (is) like that but I’m not gonna lie, I mean I might be a little bias because they blew us out but Lamar Jackson,” Ramsey said. “He is so tough.”
The two multi-time Pro Bowlers have played each other just once in their respective careers and it came in one of the biggest statement wins for Jackson during his unanimous MVP-winning season in 2019. The Ravens made the cross-country trek to play the Rams on Monday Night Football in Week 12 of that year and Jackson absolutely dominated and dissected Ramsey and the rest of his compatriots on Los Angeles’ defense, including three-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, in a lopsided 45-6 victory.
While he only threw for 169 yards, Jackson had as many touchdown passes as he did incompletions with five of his 20 total attempts, added another 95 yards on eight carries, and finished with a passer rating of 139.4 according to Pro Football Reference. He did all that damage with his arm and legs in not even a full game’s workload as he only played 79% of the team’s total offensive snaps and watched most of the fourth quarter on the sideline because the game was well in hand.