Ravens coach John Harbaugh hinted recently that star quarterback Lamar Jackson could miss multiple games after suffering a knee injury in Sunday's Week 13 win over the Broncos. Now, that's looking more likely. Further tests have revealed Jackson's injury as a PCL sprain, according to ESPN, which typically sidelines players anywhere from one to three weeks. The former MVP hasn't officially been ruled out for Week 14 against the Steelers, but Harbaugh said the QB is "less likely" to suit up.
Harbaugh previously described Jackson as "week to week" on the injury report, signaling a potential multi-game absence. The QB was clearly favoring his leg while leaving Sunday's game and walking, with the help of trainers, to the locker room. Considering Jackson leans heavily on his legs when healthy, and also missed extended time in 2021 due to injury, it's safe to expect backup Tyler Huntley to start against Pittsburgh in Week 14. The latter took most of the snaps in Sunday's win over Denver.
Should Jackson require multiple weeks of rehab, Huntley could also be tasked with starting against the Browns in Week 15, and/or the Falcons in Week 16. Baltimore then closes its 2022 regular season with consecutive divisional games against the Steelers and Bengals, respectively. The team currently sits atop the AFC North at 8-4, the same record as Cincinnati.
The Ravens do not have another QB on the active roster behind Huntley. On Monday, the team signed veteran quarterback Brett Hundley to the practice squad, joining Anthony Brown, an undrafted rookie and preseason standout, available for promotion.
How does Jackson's expected absence impact the Ravens' chances of winning the North, and/or securing a playoff berth? Simulations from SportsLine's Stephen Oh have Baltimore's win percentage dropping by about 10% per game Jackson is out. Oh argues Huntley can be about 80% as effective as Jackson under center:
(Huntley) is arguably better at taking what the offense is giving you based on his extremely high completion percentage. Before this season, the big gap was in the red zone, where Huntley struggled. But this season, Lamar has not been great in the red zone, either, and Huntley just won the Broncos game with a plunge into the end zone.
If Jackson is out just one week, SportsLine has Baltimore's chances of winning the division at 59.8%. If he misses three games, that drops to 54.7%, or by about 5%. Their playoff chances go from 97.5% to 93.7% (just a 3.8% drop) with a three-game absence as opposed to one game. At any rate, it appears, the path to the postseason is still clear.