Things just went from difficult to much, much more so for the Baltimore Ravens. The team continues to watch former league MVP Lamar Jackson work his way back from an ankle injury that sidelined him in Week 15, and it was backup quarterback Tyler Huntley landing the start in the eventual loss to the Green Bay Packers. Huntley was expected to line up under center for a second consecutive start in Week 16 when the Ravens visit the Cincinnati Bengals, but no more, having been moved to the team's reserve/COVID-19 list on Christmas Day, the team announced.
Jackson, who hadn't practiced in two weeks, had a shot a potentially being the emergency backup -- considering Josh Johnson is now the only healthy QB on the roster -- but the Ravens will no longer give that consideration and have announced Jackson is ruled out and will not travel with the team to Cincinnati.
Huntley missed practice on Christmas Eve with an illness that was initially reported by NFL Network as non-COVID related but, one day later, the Ravens have removed him from the active roster due to COVD-19 and are forced to pivot at the QB position, only they didn't immediately know in which direction they'd go, but they do now.
It's Johnson's show on Sunday.
Although the Ravens suffered a third consecutive loss last week to fall to 8-6 on the season, Huntley played well and put them in position to upset the Packers, victimized by the inability of the Ravens' defense to stop Rodgers on an eventual game-winning drive and, of course, there was the controversial decision by head coach John Harbaugh to attempt a two-point conversion to end a game in regulation versus risking overtime -- failing to convert it in that situation for the second time this season.
Enter Johnson, a 35-year-old journeyman who entered the league as a fifth-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008.
He's since spent time with a list of teams that include both the NFL, the UFL and the XFL. Carrying a NFL career record of just 1-7, Johnson takes the field against the Bengals in what is essentially a must-win for both teams, and will be asked to prevent a four-game losing streak in the wake of both COVID-19 issues and a rash of major injuries to star players in Baltimore.
The Ravens have signed Kenji Bahar to the practice squad, per the Ravens official website, and plan to activate him as QB2 on Sunday.