The Ravens will be without quarterback Lamar Jackson for just the third time since he took over as a starter midway through the 2018 season.
Jackson is dealing with a non-COVID-related illness that will keep him out of action against the Bears. He traveled with the team and tried to play, but couldn’t do it, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport detailed.
As such, the Ravens will be forced to roll with their backup quarterback against the Bears: Tyler Huntley. His name may not be a familiar one to casual NFL fans, but the Ravens were comfortable making him the team’s No. 2 quarterback ahead of the 2021 NFL season.
Here’s what you need to know about Huntley as he prepares to make his first career NFL start.
Tyler Huntley college career, NFL stats
Huntley is a second-year player who played collegiately at Utah. He was a three-year starter for the Utes who generated 3,092 passing yards, 19 passing touchdowns and four interceptions during his final collegiate season in 2019 while completing 72.3 percent of his passes. He showed off nice mobility, too, running for 290 yards and five scores on the season.
While Huntley went undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Ravens quickly scooped him up as a free agent. He served as the team’s No. 4 quarterback for most of the 2020 NFL season. He spent most of the year on the practice squad but was elevated for four games late in the season after Robert Griffin III and Trace McSorley suffered injuries.
Huntley has completed 8 of 16 career passes for 54 yards. He has also run the ball 13 times for 33 yards. So, he has played sparingly and has never had to start a game (Griffin started the lone game that Jackson missed in 2020).
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That said, Huntley performed well during the 2021 NFL preseason. He completed 60 of 83 passes (72.3 percent) for 551 yards, four touchdowns and just one interception while playing a bulk of Baltimore’s snaps.
“He came in and played excellent,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of Huntley after the team’s first preseason game. “He made plays with his arm, feet and head. He took a big step in that direction to be the backup QB.”
Huntley’s strong performance helped him earn the backup quarterback after a battle with 2019 sixth-round pick Trace McSorley.
Ravens QB depth chart
Speaking of McSorley, he remains on the Ravens’ quarterback depth chart. The former Penn State star will serve as the backup to Huntley. He has completed just 3 of 10 career passes, but those completions have generated 90 yards and a touchdown. He also has six career rushes for 18 yards.
If the Ravens have to use an emergency quarterback, punter Sam Koch could get the nod. It won’t likely come to that but, if it does, ESPN listed Koch as the Ravens’ emergency quarterback. The 39-year-old has completed all seven of his career pass attempts for 82 yards.
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