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Ravens to face Bengals without QBs Lamar Jackson, Tyler Huntley

Tyler Huntley
Posted at 6:35 PM, Dec 25, 2021

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens put quarterback Tyler Huntley on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, leaving them without their top two QBs for Sunday’s showdown at Cincinnati for first place in the AFC North.

Lamar Jackson missed last week’s game with a sprained ankle, and the Ravens announced this weekend that he would not travel with the team. Huntley played well in Jackson’s place in last weekend’s loss to Green Bay, but now Josh Johnson is the team’s top healthy quarterback.

The Ravens signed the 35-year-old journeyman Johnson before last week’s game. He appeared in three games earlier this season for the New York Jets.

It’s been one major blow after another for the Ravens ever since running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards went down with season-ending knee injuries before the season even began. Baltimore has more than a dozen players on injured reserve and several more on the COVID-19 list.

The Ravens (8-6) have managed to hold at least a share of first place for almost the whole season, but they would fall out with a loss to the Bengals (8-6). Baltimore activated quarterback Kenji Bahar from the practice squad.

Cincinnati got back CB Chidobe Awuzie from the COVID-19 list, but also had to place two defensive linemen, D.J. Reader and Wyatt Ray, on that list.

Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni has cleared the NFL’s COVID-19 testing protocol and will be on the sideline for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. The team said Sirianni returned to its facility on Saturday morning.

The Eagles (7-7) are hoping to secure a playoff spot with a strong finish to the season. They have won two in a row and four of five overall.

New York Jets coach Robert Saleh was ruled out for the game against the Jaguars because he didn’t clear COVID-19 protocols Saturday. Tight ends coach Ron Middleton will assume the head coaching duties.

Saleh tested positive for the coronavirus Wednesday and needed to have two negative tests by Saturday afternoon to return to the sideline. The coach has been quarantining in a hotel while running team meetings remotely.

The first-year head coach said he called Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski earlier in the week to get some feedback on how he handled not being on the sideline twice because of COVID-19: a playoff game last season and the Browns’ 16-14 loss to Las Vegas last week.

“He said, ‘Well, everything is going to be fine. It’s all virtual anyway. You’re just going to miss practice, but Sunday is going to be miserable,’” Saleh said of his conversation with Stefanski. “So, I’m looking for misery.”

Quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese will miss the game because of COVID-19 protocols. Senior offensive assistant Matt Cavanaugh will assume Calabrese’s game-day duties.

The Jets have been hit particularly hard this week by a surge of COVID-19 cases. There were 18 players on the active and practice squad rosters — including injured reserve — on the COVID-19 list Saturday. They elevated tight end Dan Brown, wide receiver DJ Montgomery, offensive lineman Isaiah Williams, defensive lineman Ronnie Blair, linebacker LaRoy Reynolds and safety Elijah Benton from the practice squad.

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