OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Optimistic national reports about Lamar Jackson’s status at the start of the week never materialized as the star quarterback will miss his third straight game when the Ravens host Atlanta on Saturday afternoon.
The 2019 NFL MVP still hasn’t practiced since injuring his left knee in the Dec. 4 win over Denver. Jackson is reportedly dealing with a sprained PCL that was expected to keep him out one to three weeks at the time of the injury, which always made it possible that he wouldn’t return in time to play against the Falcons in Week 16. Still, his multi-game absence has reinforced a sense of deja vu after Jackson sustained an ankle injury last December and ultimately sat out the remainder of the season.
Fortunately, quarterback Tyler Huntley is expected to be ready to go despite landing on Wednesday’s injury report with a sore shoulder. Both Huntley and head coach John Harbaugh said his shoulder wouldn’t be a concern against the Falcons, but he was still listed as questionable for Saturday’s game and undrafted rookie Anthony Brown is set to serve as his backup for a third straight game.
“It’s good. Just was a little sore,” said Huntley, who was listed as a limited practice participant on both Wednesday and Thursday. “I was just managing it and everything, so I’m good.”
The news wasn’t as encouraging for six-time Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell (knee) and three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters (calf), who were both declared out for injuries sustained in the second half of last week’s loss at Cleveland. Second-year defensive back Brandon Stephens will start in Peters’ place while the likes of Brent Urban and Broderick Washington are expected to see increased defensive line rotation snaps in Campbell’s absence.
A forecast calling for bitterly cold temperatures and substantial wind won’t make it easy for the special teams units needing to replace two-time Pro Bowl return specialist Devin Duvernay, who suffered a broken fifth metatarsal in his foot during Tuesday’s practice and is unlikely to play again this season. For what it’s worth, the latest depth chart released by the Ravens public relations staff listed running back Justice Hill as the backup kick returner and wide receiver James Proche and cornerback Damarion Williams as the backup punt returners.
“We’ll probably roll some guys, and those guys will get opportunities,” Harbaugh said. “It will be a little bit by committee probably. We’ll see how those guys do. They’ve been working hard all year. We trust those guys and expect them to do great.”
Veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins is expected to play on Saturday despite only being claimed off waivers on Tuesday. Of course, the 29-year-old is familiar with the offensive system after playing for Baltimore last season.
Atlanta ruled out reserve offensive lineman offensive lineman Chuma Edoga with a knee injury but otherwise enjoyed a clean bill of health this week.
Below is the final game status injury report for Week 16:
OUT: DE Calais Campbell (knee), QB Lamar Jackson (knee), CB Marcus Peters (calf)
QUESTIONABLE: QB Tyler Huntley (right shoulder)