Lamar Jackson to be held out of Ravens’ regular-season finale. Tyler Huntley set to start at QB

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Lamar Jackson is again missing the end of the regular season, except this time it’s a good sign for the Baltimore Ravens.

Jackson will not play in Baltimore’s finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend, coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday. Harbaugh said Tyler Huntley will start at quarterback for the Ravens, who have already clinched the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Josh Johnson will be Huntley’s backup.

“All things considered, it seemed to be the right thing to do,” Harbaugh said.

Jackson seemed to agree.

“I’m cool with it,” he said. “Me and Coach talked about it.”

The announcement was no surprise now that Baltimore has wrapped up a first-round bye in the postseason. Jackson, who missed the end of 2021 and 2022 because of injuries, has started all 16 games so far this season.

Huntley has started eight regular-season games in his pro career, four each for the Ravens in each of the past two seasons. Baltimore went 3-5 in those starts. Huntley also started the Ravens’ 24-17 playoff loss at Cincinnati last season.

Huntley threw a late touchdown pass last weekend when the Ravens routed Miami 56-19 to clinch the AFC’s No. 1 seed.

“I believe Snoop can get the job done,” Jackson said, using the backup quarterback’s nickname. “We’ve got guys who are going to go out there and ball out.”

Jackson, a favorite to win NFL MVP honors again, finishes the season with career highs in yards passing (3,678), completion rate (67.2%), pass attempts (457), completions (307) and yards per attempt (8.0). His passer rating of 102.7 is the second-best of his career behind his MVP season of 2019.

Harbaugh also announced that defensive back Daryl Worley (shoulder/ankle) will not play this week. He was one of several players who missed practice Wednesday, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if more top contributors were held out of Saturday’s game against the Steelers.

Wide receivers Zay Flowers (calf) and Odell Beckham Jr. (rest), cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey (calf) and Ronald Darby (illness), safety Kyle Hamilton (knee), linebacker Malik Harrison (groin) and guard Kevin Zeitler (knee/quad) did not practice.

The game has no significance for the Ravens in terms of their postseason position, but it’s a big one for Pittsburgh. The Steelers could clinch a playoff berth if they win and either Buffalo or Jacksonville loses.

Pittsburgh can still slip into the postseason with a loss to Baltimore, but it would need Jacksonville to lose and Denver to win to have a chance. So the Ravens can deal their rival a significant blow.

“There’s no lack of motivation, for sure,” Harbaugh said. “First of all, it’s an NFL game, and the guys playing in the game are going to be giving it all they’ve got. You have to. And the guys playing in the game want to win each play and they want to win the game. They’re going to play their very best.”

In 2019, the Ravens also had the top seed and held Jackson out in the final regular-season game — also at home against Pittsburgh. Baltimore, with Robert Griffin III playing quarterback, beat the Steelers 28-10.

Early this season, Pittsburgh rallied to beat Baltimore 17-10 with a late touchdown.

“We’re playing a division rival,” Harbaugh said. “We know what goes with that. They know us, we know them. We know what it’s going to take to win a game like this.”



Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up