Landover — From the moment quarterback Tyler Huntley stepped onto the field in the first quarter of the Ravens’ preseason finale against the Washington Football Team on Saturday night, he was in control.
Huntley completed eight of his first nine passes while leading four straight scoring drives en route to a 37-3 win in his best performance of the preseason.
“We have been in camp for like six weeks,” Huntley said. “It feels good to end on a good note.”
Huntley, a 2020 undrafted free agent, finished the game with a 138.3 passer rating while throwing for 285 yards and scoring five touchdowns, including one rushing.
Competing to be Lamar Jackson’s backup with Trace McSorley, who’s sidelined with a back injury, Huntley has impressed this preseason. He started out hot Saturday.
After Huntley rushing for a 10-yard touchdown on the Ravens’ second drive, he threw a 14-yard pass to Devin Duvernay followed by a 17-yard throw to James Proche II to set up a 25-yard field goal by Jake Verity to put the Ravens up 10-0.
“Glad I’m not playing against [Huntley],” said Jackson, the 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player who led just one drive in his preseason debut. “I was cheering like a cheerleader. I just didn’t have pom poms.”
With less than eight minutes remaining in the second quarter, Huntley scrambled to the right before throwing the ball across his body for an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Eric Tomlinson to make it 16-0 after Verity missed the extra point.
After Washington kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a 55-yard field goal attempt, Huntley took advantage of the solid field position. Huntley threw a 13-yard pass to tight end Josh Oliver before launching a 25-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Binjimen Victor, who finished the night with 72 yards on five receptions.
“[Huntley] went bananas,” Proche said. “He lost his mind. It just shows how deep we are.”
During the Ravens’ first drive of the third quarter, Huntley pump-faked before firing the ball 20 yards into the endzone to Proche, who made the touchdown grab over Washington’s Darryl Roberts for a 30-3 lead. Proche, who recorded a combined 15 receiving yards in the first two preseason games, tallied 52 yards on four catches, averaging 13 yards per reception.
“Man, it felt great but I made that catch a thousand times,” Proche said. “It’s crazy, if you go watch the Tulsa game from my senior year, I made a game-winning catch exactly like that.”
Dobbins exits with knee injury
Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins was helped off the field after injuring his left knee during the first quarter Saturday night.
“He’ll get tested tomorrow and we’ll see where we’re at, at that point in time,” coach John Harbaugh said.
With 9:06 to play in the first quarter, Dobbins caught a screen pass from quarterback Lamar Jackson before he was hit by a pair of Washington defenders, causing his left knee to bend awkwardly. Dobbins laid on the ground grabbing his knee before the team’s training staff helped carry him off the field without putting any pressure on his left leg. After being evaluated in the medical tent on the sideline, Dobbins was carted to the locker room.
Dobbins was entering the 2021 season as the team’s top running back. During his rookie season, the 2020 second-round pick rushed for 805 yards and nine touchdowns. Dobbins has looked solid throughout training camp, showing improvement as a pass catcher. Last season, he recorded 120 receiving yards on 18 receptions.
Running back Gus Edwards is a capable replacement, having rushed for more than 700 yards in each of his first three seasons after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2018. Edwards split time with Dobbins and veteran Mark Ingram last season, rushing for 723 yards and six touchdowns on 9.0 yards per carry.
Ty’Son Williams, an undrafted free agent in 2020 who has impressed during the preseason; Justice Hill, a 2019 fourth-round pick and special teams standout; and rookie Nate McCrary, a former standout at Division II Saginaw Valley State, are competing for spots on the 53-man roster. The deadline for the final roster cut is Tuesday.
The Ravens has dealt with injuries to key players throughout training camp and the preseason. Inside linebacker L.J. Fort tore his ACL during the Ravens’ preseason victory over the Carolina Panthers last week. Quarterback Trace McSorley, wide receivers Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Miles Boykin and cornerback Marlon Humphrey are among Ravens players dealing with injuries.
Deon Cain and Victor exited the game in the third quarter to be evaluated for concussions.
Lamar Jackson, Ronnie Stanley make preseason debuts
Jackson and left tackle Ronnie Stanley made their first appearance of the preseason Saturday night. Jackson and Stanley, a 2019 All-Pro selection, only played during the Ravens’ opening drive. In the short time Jackson was on the field, he looked efficient, completing three of four passes for 29 yards.
“It was great,” Jackson said. “To get a few reps in before the regular season and feel that contact.”
Jackson got rolling early, connecting with tight end Mark Andrews for a 23-yard reception. Jackson led the offense into Washington territory before getting sacked twice and even fumbled before Stanley recovered the ball.
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Stanley played in his first game since injuring his left ankle in Week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers last season. Stanley was alongside the Raven’s starting offensive line and moved well during his short time on the field.
Harbaugh said it was great to have Stanley get some game action. “It was important,” Harbaugh said. “The offensive line got out there for a little bit. It’s not much, but it’s something. At least you get out there for a little bit of work before they get in the regular season.”
Sept. 13, 8:15 p.m.
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