CINCINNATI — With Lamar Jackson sidelined, the Baltimore Ravens are preparing to go with an unusual strategy at quarterback to start the playoffs.
The Ravens are planning to use both of their quarterbacks — banged-up backup Tyler Huntley and undrafted rookie Anthony Brown — in Sunday night’s wild-card game against the Cincinnati Bengals, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh would not name a starter after Friday’s practice. Huntley, who is listed as questionable, has been dealing with tendinitis in his right throwing shoulder, and Brown has made one career start.
“We’ll see when the time comes,” Harbaugh said when asked who would be his starting quarterback.
How the Ravens use their quarterbacks likely depends on how they want to attack the Bengals. Huntley is more proficient at orchestrating the same run-oriented offense as Jackson, while Brown is the better passer who can push the ball downfield.
Huntley was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday before being a full participant Friday. Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman said this past week that it’s “a very fluid situation” at quarterback and previously acknowledged Huntley’s injury has “changed the way we’ve had to play some of these games a little bit.”
Huntley, who is 3-5 as a starter in his career, is the more experienced quarterback but has struggled to throw the ball downfield because of his injured shoulder. In four starts this season, he has completed just three passes that have traveled at least 20 yards.
When Baltimore rested Huntley in last Sunday’s 27-16 loss to the Bengals, Brown impressed the coaches with his confidence to make tough throws. But Brown is more prone to mistakes, turning the ball over three times (two interceptions and a fumble) last Sunday.
Jackson, who was ruled out for a sixth straight game with a left knee injury, tweeted on Thursday that he has “suffered a PCL Grade 2 sprain, on the borderline of a strain 3” and his knee “remains unstable.”
Jackson is finishing out the fifth-year option on his rookie contract and has no guaranteed money after this season. Harbaugh said he didn’t know whether Jackson would be able to play if Baltimore advanced in the postseason.
The sixth-seeded Ravens, who are 6-0 all time on the road in wild-card games, are 8.5-point underdogs to the third-seeded Bengals.