Tyler Huntley will start at quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 18 on Sunday, head coach John Harbaugh announced on Friday.
Lamar Jackson has not played since Week 14 while battling an ankle injury and did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday this week. Baltimore’s full injury report will not be posted until later in the day on Friday.
Huntley, 23, is in his second season with Baltimore since joining the Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of Utah in 2020. In eight career games (three starts), he has completed 109 of 162 passes for 955 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions and an 83.7 passer rating.
The Ravens have fallen apart without Jackson available, losing five straight games down the stretch of the 2021 season and enter Week 18 needing even more help than the Steelers to make it to the postseason.
But Harbaugh said Huntley’s abilities have allowed them to run basically the same scheme that they have under Jackson.
“That’s one of the reasons that we brought Tyler in to back Lamar up,” Harbaugh said earlier in the week. “We didn’t have to change our offense around. It’s the same offense that we run with both quarterbacks.”
Huntley has not faced the Steelers, but Harbaugh dismissed the notion that the lack of familiarity, in a game where the opponents are otherwise extremely knowledgeable about one another, could be an advantage.
Steelers nose tackle Montravius Adams said on Thursday that both Baltimore quarterbacks are capable of hurting them on the ground if they don’t maintain gap integrity against the Ravens.
“The main thing is always going to be gap integrity,” Adams said. “When you’re going against a guy like Lamar or Huntley, at the end of the day, all they need is a little space.”