Ravens place McSorley on injured reserve, activate Bryant from COVID-19 list

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After more than two years of fans and media fretting over Lamar Jackson getting hurt because of his propensity to run, the Ravens have lost two backup quarterbacks to injuries in two weeks.

Second-year quarterback Trace McSorley was placed on injured reserve after injuring his knee late in Monday’s 47-42 win at Cleveland. The 2019 sixth-round pick from Penn State delivered a key third-down completion to receiver Willie Snead to move the chains on Baltimore’s penultimate drive before hurting his left knee a few plays later, paving the way for Jackson to make a heroic return from the locker room after he’d left the game due to cramping late in the third quarter.

“As I’m seeing him go down, I was still stretching,” said Jackson, who was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday. “I was catching an attitude because it wasn’t going the way we wanted it to. And then I saw him go down, and I was like, ‘We’ve got to start now. We’ve just got to go out there now.’ And I started running out there.”

An NFL Network report described McSorley’s injury as a “minor” sprain, but he now must miss a minimum of three games with this year’s modified IR rules, meaning he won’t return before the end of the regular season. And with veteran quarterback Robert Griffin III not eligible to return from IR until next week at the earliest after hurting his hamstring in the Week 12 loss at Pittsburgh, the Ravens currently have just one healthy quarterback on their 53-man roster.

All signs point to undrafted rookie Tyler Huntley being elevated to serve as Jackson’s backup for Sunday’s meeting with Jacksonville. The Utah product has been on the practice squad all season, but he was elevated for the Steelers game in Week 12 and didn’t play in that 19-14 defeat. Even if Baltimore were to sign a veteran backup, the COVID-19 testing protocols wouldn’t make it possible to have a newcomer ready to play by Sunday.

On Tuesday, the Ravens also activated wide receiver Dez Bryant from the reserve-COVID-19 list. After testing negative multiple times and not experiencing any symptoms since the initial positive test that prevented him from playing in the Dec. 8 win over Dallas, the 32-year-old wasn’t required to isolate for the full 10 days. 

In three games with the Ravens, Bryant has caught four passes for 28 yards. He missed each of the last two games.

Cornerback Terrell Bonds was also activated from the COVID-19 list and reverted to IR. Rookie safety Geno Stone is the only Ravens player remaining on the list after more than 20 were on it due to the organization’s massive outbreak a few weeks ago.

The Ravens also terminated the practice-squad contracts of fullback Tommy Bohanon and defensive tackle Braxton Hoyett on Tuesday.