Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley said Friday he thinks he will be able to start Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals despite ceding first-team reps to backup Anthony Brown this week.
“I feel like I’ve got a good chance to play Sunday,” Huntley said, adding that it remains to be seen how his body will feel over the weekend. “I’ve just been resting. I feel the best with a little rest. So resting these last couple days, I’m ready to go.”
Huntley’s health is crucial considering the importance of Sunday’s game. Although the Ravens can’t overtake Cincinnati for the AFC North title, a win would help the Ravens complete a season sweep of the Bengals and put the site of a potential first-round playoff game in Baltimore or Cincinnati to a coin flip.
Huntley, who was listed as questionable on the Ravens’ latest injury report, is the team’s top option after coach John Harbaugh ruled out usual starter Lamar Jackson for the fifth straight game. Jackson sat out his 15th straight practice Friday after injuring in his left knee in the first quarter of a 10-9 win against the Denver Broncos on Dec. 4.
Harbaugh said he understands the mounting levels of consternation among fans regarding Jackson’s unavailability, but said there are “really no updates” on Jackson’s status.
“The truth is, we really don’t know,” he said after Friday’s practice. “I know everybody’s working as hard as they can. Lamar’s working as hard as he can, the trainers are working as hard as they can. Can’t wait for him to get back obviously just like everybody else. That’s where we’re at with that. He won’t be playing in this game, and we’ll be hopeful for next week, and we’ll just see where we’re at then.”
Injuries to Huntley’s right wrist and right throwing shoulder — Harbaugh characterized the latter as “a tendonitis issue” — have limited his participation in practice all week. Huntley, who is 2-2 as the starter in Jackson’s absence this season, acknowledged that the pain and discomfort has been more bothersome this week.
“I think I probably landed on it wrong,” he said. “It feels good, but we’re trying to make sure it’s great. We should be good.”
Harbaugh said Huntley has been relegated to taking mental reps on offense while Brown, an undrafted rookie, has been working physically with the first team.
“We just decided not to put him through that,” Harbaugh said. “He’s been involved in all the walk-throughs, he’s been involved in all the mental work. I think there’s a really good chance he could play on Sunday, but if that doesn’t happen, then it doesn’t happen. But we’re hopeful for that.”
Huntley said he has been monitoring the offense from the end zone during practices and has been heavily involved in meetings. But he admitted that not being able to join his teammates on the practice field has been difficult.
“It’s definitely hard because you see everybody, your teammates, and this is all I do all day,” he said. “So it feels [bad] just watching and not being involved. So getting that chance to play Sunday will make me feel great.”
If Huntley can’t go, Brown would earn his first career start. He connected on three of five passes for 16 yards and was sacked once in finishing a 16-14 win at the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 11 in his only significant showing of the season.
Harbaugh said Brown took advantage of his time with the first team in practice this week.
“Really valuable for Anthony to get the reps,” he said. “Tyler was out there getting all the reps mentally, but Anthony got the reps physically. Couldn’t do anything but help him as a player. So he’ll be the backup, and he’ll be ready to go if needed.”
Meanwhile, starting cornerback Marcus Peters practiced for the third consecutive day, albeit on a limited basis. He has missed the Ravens’ past two games due to a calf injury and is questionable for Sunday’s game.
His return could be timely because cornerbacks Brandon Stephens and Kevon Seymour did not practice Friday due to illness. Both players were listed as questionable. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson is also questionable after not practicing all week because of an illness.
A trio of starters in defensive tackle Calais Campbell (knee), outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul and left tackle Ronnie Stanley were absent, but they were given Friday off. Campbell, who has been battling a knee ailment that sidelined him for the past two games, practiced fully Thursday and is listed as questionable.
The Bengals had only one player on their injury report. Starting cornerback Eli Apple practiced fully Friday despite a neck ailment and is questionable.
Ravens at Bengals
Sunday, 1 p.m.
TV: Chs. 13, 9
Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM
Line: Bengals by 10