A left knee injury sent Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson to the locker room in the first half. But backup Tyler Huntley led the Ravens to a 10-9 comeback victory against the Denver Broncos.
The war of attrition continued in the NFL, as multiple starting quarterbacks were injured during unlucky Week 13.
Jackson added his name to the list of dinged-up quarterbacks that includes Tua Tagovailoa (ankle) from the Miami Dolphins, and Jimmy Garoppolo (fractured foot) from the San Francisco 49ers, both injured in the same game.
In the case of Tagovailoa, he’s expected to return to action in Week 14. But Garoppolo is out for the season.
Jackson will undergo testing on Monday to determine how long he will miss time with a sprained knee. Over the last couple of weeks, Jackson battled a sore hip, strained quad, and the flu. However, he did not miss any games.
The Ravens edged out the Broncos and improved to 8-4 this season. They currently occupy first place in the AFC North ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals, who also have an 8-4 record. If the season ended today, the Ravens would lock up the #3 seed in the AFC playoffs and the Bengals would earn an AFC Wild Card berth as the #5 seed.
Lamar Jackson Out: “Days to Weeks”
Jackson suffered a knee injury on the final play of the first quarter. Denver Broncos linebacker Jonathon Cooper sacked Jackson from behind and gravity took over when Cooper’s weight drove Jackson’s left knee into the turf at M&T Bank Stadium.
Training staff evaluated Jackson on the sidelines underneath the blue medical tent during the commercial break in between the first and second quarter. They diagnosed a sprained knee and Jackson headed into the locker room.
At halftime, the Ravens ruled out Jackson for the remainder of the game.
It’s not a season-ending type of knee,” said head coach John Harbaugh said. “We’ll get more tests to let you know how long it’s gonna be. It’s gonna be a number. Day to weeks. We’ll see if he can go back this week. If not, it’ll be sometime after that shortly.”
Jackson completed 3-of-4 passes for 11 yards, and he rushed once for a nine-yard gain prior to the knee injury. The Broncos sacked Jackson twice, including the one that eventually knocked him out of the game with the Broncos leading, 3-0.
In 12 games this season, Jackson completed 62.3% of his passes for 2,242 yards. He threw 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The mobile Jackson led the Ravens in rushing this season with 112 attempts for 754 yards and three touchdowns.
Tyler Huntley Next Man Up
Tyer Huntley came off the bench and led the Ravens to a clutch victory against the struggling Broncos. The Broncos entered Week 13 as the lowest-scoring team in the NFL, averaging 14.3 points per game.
The Ravens held the Broncos to nine points on three field goals from Brandon McManus. With the Ravens trailing 9-3 in the fourth quarter, Huntley strung together a game-winning, 91-yard drive. Huntley capped off the 16-play drive with a two-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 9-9. Justin Tucker connected on the extra point to put the Ravens ahead for the first time in the game with 28 seconds remaining.
We had to stay calm, focus on the play that was called at that time and just try to execute the best we could,” said Huntley. “I was just looking at the clock, how much time we had left in the game. That was my focus at that moment.”
Huntley completed 27-of-32 passes for 187 yards and no touchdowns. He was sacked only once. Huntley led the Ravens in rushing with 41 yards and one touchdown on ten attempts.
“That was a great win,” added Harbaugh. “December football, you’ve got to find a way to win the game and I’m proud of our team. I’m proud of every single guy.”
Huntley went 1-3 as a starter with the Ravens in 2021. That’s after Jackson went down with an ankle injury and missed the final four games of the season.
Last season, Huntley completed 65% of his passes for 1,081 yards and three touchdowns. He tossed four picks and got sacked 18 times. He also rushed 47 times for 294 yards and two touchdowns.
Ravens, Bengals in Close AFC North Race
The Ravens have five games remaining, but four of them are against AFC North foes. The AFC North is nicknamed the “Smashmouth Division” because of its fierce and highly-physical competition among division rivals.
The Ravens play road games against the Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 14), Cleveland Browns (Week 15), and Cincinnati Bengals (Week 18). They host back-to-back home games against the Atlanta Falcons (Week 15) and Steelers (Week 16).
The Steelers opened as -2 favorites in Week 14 under the assumption that Jackson does not play on Sunday because of his knee injury.
The Ravens are -140 odds to win the AFC North, according to DraftKings. The Bengals are +130 odds to win the division in back-to-back seasons.
The Ravens are +2000 odds to win Super Bowl LVII as the eight-highest team on DraftKings’ NFL futures board. In conference championship odds, the Ravens are +1000 odds to win the AFC title and advance to the Super Bowl.
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