Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson missed last week’s game with an ankle injury. In his place, Tyler Huntley looked more than capable, putting up 30 points against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. However, with a crucial AFC North clash against the Bengals on tap, will Jackson return and play today?
Is Lamar Jackson playing today vs. the Bengals?
After suffering an ankle injury in Cleveland on December 5, Jackson spent most of Week 15 as a game-time decision. He missed practice for the entire week until officially being ruled out.
Jackson has also missed practice every day this week and continues to be day-to-day. According to Ryan Mink of Ravens.com, offensive coordinator Greg Roman reiterated that the Ravens are being cautious with their star quarterback.
“I think it does become a concern for any player when they miss time. You really want them out there working on their craft,” Roman said Thursday.
On Friday [December 24], it was reported that Baltimore was not ready to rule Jackson out quite yet. Although he did not practice, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the team would wait and see how Jackson felt over the weekend.
However, Saturday [December 25] the team announced that Jackson is not traveling with the team to Cincinnati. Josh Johnson is the only QB making the trip.
Tyler Huntley is no longer an option for Baltimore
Jackson is currently in the midst of a rocky season. Even though he was named to this year’s Pro Bowl, the numbers have not been great in his last few outings. In Jackson’s last four starts, he has thrown 8 interceptions to just 5 touchdowns.
Last week against the Packers, Tyler Huntley stepped in and threw for 215 yards with 2 TDs while adding 73 yards and 2 more scores on the ground.
When Huntley has been called upon this season, he has been solid. The rookie QB has completed 81 of 114 passes (71%) for 704 yards (234.7 yards per game) with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. He has also added 158 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns.
However, it was reported on Christmas that Huntley would be added to the reserve/COVID list. He will not be available for the game against Cincinnati. This means that as of right now, if both Huntley and Jackson are out today, Josh Johnson will be the starting QB for Baltimore.
A crucial matchup against Cincinnati
Whether it is Jackson or Johnson that gets the start, this is an important matchup for both of these teams. The AFC North is the closest division in football right now, with all four teams within one game of the division lead. The Bengals are technically leading right now but have the same record as the Ravens.
Cincinnati’s defense is a tough matchup for any QB. They are top 12 in the league, allowing only 21.6 points per game. When it comes to fantasy, they are the sixth-best team against opposing QBs, allowing just 17 points per game.