Ravens quarterback Trace McSorley is suffering from a back injury that could keep him out several weeks and clear the way for Tyler Huntley to win the No. 2 job behind Lamar Jackson.
Coach John Harbaugh said McSorley wrenched his back while lifting a box Saturday. He started the team’s preseason opener later the same day, believing he was suffering from back spasms and could play through the discomfort. But a subsequent checkup revealed a more significant problem, Harbaugh said.
McSorley’s injury could bring an end to one of the most scrutinized position battles of training camp. Huntley played the entire second half Saturday and rallied the Ravens to victory, completing 12 of 16 passes and flashing his impressive acceleration as a runner. He looked sharp in practice Monday, connecting on a deep pass to wide receiver Tylan Wallace and avoiding judgment errors.
The former Utah star has made good on his opportunities since he signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent before last season, and now he has his biggest chance yet.
“He played excellent,” Harbaugh said of Huntley’s performance in the preseason opener. “He made plays with his arm, with his feet and with his head. He did an excellent job, and he took a big step in the right direction to be the backup quarterback.”
Huntley has also earned the confidence of his teammates.
“He can do it all,” wide receiver Devin Duvernay said.
“A lot of the passes I’m on the catching end of, you look back and say, ‘Who threw that?’ And it’s No. 2,” added wide receiver James Proche II. “I’m just proud of him. He’s put in a lot of work.”
After Saturday’s victory over the New Orleans Saints, Huntley downplayed the competition between him and McSorley.
“I don’t think about it — period,” he said. “We’re just playing football, and everything else is going to take care of itself. We’re teammates; there isn’t a competition — for real.”
With McSorley out, the Ravens re-signed Baltimore native Kenji Bahar (Calvert Hall), who played at Monmouth, to serve as a third quarterback in training camp.
In other health news, wide receiver Sammy Watkins and defensive back Brandon Stephens left practice Monday with injuries Harbaugh described as “nothing serious.”
Nineteen Ravens missed practice Monday, with right guard Kevin Zeitler, fullback Patrick Ricard, running back Gus Edwards and defensive back Nigel Warrior returning to action. Center Bradley Bozeman, who sprained his ankle in the preseason opener, and running back Justice Hill were among those not practicing. Wide receivers Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin and Deon Cain did not practice but ran sprints on a side field.