Ravens quarterback situation remains cloudy entering Week 15


OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Is a quarterback controversy brewing for a 4-9 football team?
Or at least something like as the Ravens play out the string.
Following Jimmy Clausen’s better-than-anticipated start — albeit one that did not include a touchdown for the Ravens in a 35-6 loss to Seattle — head coach John Harbaugh expressed optimism that veteran Matt Schaub would be able to return to play against Kansas City on Sunday. However, the eighth-year coach then indicated that Clausen may continue as the starting quarterback for Week 15.
“If he’s at 100 percent, and he’s ready to go — or close to it — and you feel like he can go out there and win for us, then he will play,” said Harbaugh about the 34-year-old Schaub, who threw three touchdowns and four interceptions in two starts filling in for the injured Joe Flacco. “If we feel like it’s a better option to go with Jimmy, then we’ll do that. Jimmy played well. Jimmy didn’t do anything to hurt his chances of playing next week, so I feel like we have two good options there.”
Claimed off waivers from the Chicago Bears three weeks ago, Clausen completed 23 of 40 passes for a career-high 274 yards while throwing one interception against a Seattle pass defense that entered Week 14 ranked fourth in the NFL. The 2010 second-round pick of the Carolina Panthers lacks Schaub’s track record, but the Ravens may view Clausen as having more upside as the backup to Flacco in 2016.
Whoever is serving as the No. 2 quarterback next year will need to work as the starter for spring organized team activities and perhaps even the start of training camp as Flacco rehabilitates a surgically-repaired left knee. That’s why the Ravens might be evaluating the current quarterback picture with more scrutiny than usual for a team that was officially eliminated from postseason contention in Week 14.
According to an ESPN report on Monday, the Ravens were set to sign former Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Mallett, but Harbaugh wasn’t ready to make it official during his Monday press conference. Mallett made six starts for Houston over the last two seasons, but inconsistent play as well as questions about his dedication led to him being cut earlier this season.
“No, I can’t confirm it. I haven’t been informed of that [signing],” Harbaugh said. “We worked him out a couple weeks ago. He had a good workout, and he had some personal things that he had to work through. If that happens in the near future, that’d be great. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. But that’s nothing I’ve been told that we’ve done, to date.”
Baltimore currently has three quarterbacks on its 53-man roster after promoting practice-squad member Bryn Renner over the weekend to serve as Clausen’s backup against the Seahawks. Schaub was deactivated after being listed as questionable to play with a chest ailment on last week’s injury report.