Ravens QB Tyler Huntley placed on reserve/COVID-19 list, will miss game vs. Bengals; Josh Johnson set to start

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  • Josh Johnson
    Josh Johnson
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Tyler Huntley
    Tyler Huntley
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  • Lamar Jackson
    Lamar Jackson
    American football player

Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, a source confirmed, and will miss Sunday’s pivotal game against the Bengals. With Lamar Jackson not traveling to Cincinnati, third-string quarterback Josh Johnson will start the Week 16 showdown between AFC North leaders.

Huntley, who’s impressed in reserve duty this season, missed practice Friday with an illness and tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday. Jackson hasn’t practiced since he was carted off the field two weeks ago with an ankle injury against the Cleveland Browns. Practice squad quarterback Chris Streveler was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday. That leaves Johnson, a 35-year-old journeyman signed less than two weeks ago, as the team’s only available quarterback.

Huntley’s absence comes at an inopportune time for the Ravens, who have lost three straight and need a win Sunday to retake control of the AFC North. According to Football Outsiders, the Ravens would have an 80% chance of making the playoffs if they defeat the Bengals and just a 24% chance if they do not.

Johnson, whom the Ravens signed off the New York Jets’ practice squad Dec. 15, spent parts of the previous two years in the Alliance of American Football and XFL before joining the Jets’ practice squad this year. He is 29-for-45 for 334 yards, three touchdowns and one interception this season, most of which came in a 317-yard showing against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 9.

“I think it’s cool that he’s been in the league a long time, and it feels good just to have a ‘veteran, veteran’ in the room,” Huntley said of Johnson last week. “He’ll tell you a little bit different. … He’s back learning another playbook, so it’s cool to see how fast he can learn it. I think he learned it pretty good today; he was answering a lot of questions. So I just like that he’s in the room with us now.”

Huntley, who nearly led the injury- and coronavirus-depleted Ravens to a win last Sunday over the Green Bay Packers, was expected to make his third career start Sunday in Cincinnati. He was asked Thursday about the rising number of coronavirus cases around the NFL and Baltimore. Entering Saturday, 12 active-roster Ravens were on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

“We’ve just got to continue to follow the protocols [as] best as ever now, continue to wear our masks and [stay] socially distant,” he said. “The Ravens do a great job around here. They’ve added so many parts of the building for us to spread out and be on [virtual] meetings and just do what we’ve got to do at the building and be able to just still protect ourselves at the same time. So I feel like the Ravens, the NFL, they’re going a good job, and it’s going to get better.”

Like Jackson, Ravens special teams coach T.J. Weist will not travel with the team to Cincinnati. For the second straight week, special teams coach Randy Brown will take over for Weist, who tested positive for COVID-19 before the loss to Green Bay.

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