Mounting injuries and COVID issues have Ravens wondering "football or the squid games"

Lamar Jackson (ankle) misses another day of practice
Posted at 4:57 PM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 17:47:06-05

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson missed another day of practice Thursday as he continues to recover from his sprained ankle. He hasn't practiced since suffering the injury in the loss to Cleveland on December 12. Jackson also missed last Sunday's loss to the Packers.

That means Tyler Huntley is in line to start again this Sunday in Cincinnati. It's would be the biggest game of his career and the biggest game of the Ravens' season. He's playing it cool.

"It’s a big game but we just got to treat it as a regular one," he said.

First place on the line at Cincy. The backup turned starter said he’s preparing to be QB1, but that’s not unusual.

"That’s pretty much my mindset every week. Just prepare as if I’m going to be the starter."

This week he prepares knowing he can lead the Ravens offense productively. Even though he is coming off two losses by a combined 3 points, he has looked comfortable and poised as the starter.

There is really nothing like game experience.

"You can’t just talk about football. You have to actually do reps and get the actual feeling of the game," said Huntley. "I feel like it’s gaining more confidence in my teammates and my coaches that I can help them in a way that they need it."

"Every week he gets better and better. So, as he gains experience I really feel like he is going to continue to improve," said Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman. "His confidence is definitely growing."

One of the biggest variables this weekend will be the COVID situation. The Ravens are now up to 17 players on the COVID list - 12 from the active roster. Nine of those players are on the defensive side of the ball. It’s just par for the course during this injury-filled, virus variant year.

"You go from the beginning of the season, with our roster, to right now. I don’t know if we’re playing football or the Squid Games," said Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale. "Unsettling, I guess that’s a way to say it. But it’s one of those things. People don’t care about your problems. You got to get guys ready to go play and that’s what we’re doing."

Players currently on the Ravens' Reserve/COVID-19 list from the active roster include:

Safety Chuck Clark
Offensive lineman Trystan Colon
Outside linebacker Justin Houston
Linebacker Pernell McPhee
Cornerback Jimmy Smith
Wide receiver Sammy Watkins
Cornerback Chris Westry
Safety Geno Stone
Defensive tackle Justin Madubuike
Linebacker Chris Board
Linebacker Kristian Welch
Tight End Josh Oliver (added Thursday)

Players currently on the Ravens' Reserve/COVID-19 list from the practice squad roster include:

Running back Nate McCrary
Wide receiver Jaylon Moore
Cornerback Kevin Toliver
Offensive tackle David Sharpe
Quarterback Chris Streveler (added Thursday)

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook