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Huntley out of protocol; Ravens mum on starter

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Huntley out of protocol; Ravens mum on starter

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Tyler Huntley has been cleared from the concussion protocol, which makes him the obvious choice to start at quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens in Saturday’s game at Cleveland.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh, however, declined to name his starting quarterback on Friday.

“As far as injuries, I’m not going to really talk too much about that,” Harbaugh said after Friday’s practice. “I think it’s going to be straightforward when you see the injury report as far as who’s what. That’ll be our statement.”

All indications point to the Ravens starting Huntley, who practiced all week after getting pulled from Sunday’s 16-14 win in Pittsburgh because of the concussion protocol. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore’s No. 1 quarterback, hasn’t practiced since suffering a knee sprain on Dec. 4.

Huntley, who said he never experienced any symptoms, declared himself ready to start for a second straight week.

“I don’t think I had a concussion,” Huntley said Friday. “The protocols, they were doing their job, making sure I was safe. Clearly, I’m safe enough to play this week.”

Huntley was removed from Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh midway through the third quarter, when Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick‘s elbow nailed Huntley on a vicious shot to the head on a quarterback keeper. According to Huntley, he was sent to the sideline medical tent for evaluation after an independent concussion spotter called down.

Huntley later went to the locker room and was ruled out for the game.

Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Wednesday that Huntley seemed “great” after the game.

“Once he clears that protocol, I think [we’ll be] all systems go,” Roman said.

Huntley said he cleared the protocol on Wednesday night. He was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice but still underwent a couple more tests afterward.

This would mark the second straight week that Huntley has started in place of Jackson, who has missed six straight practices. Baltimore’s only other options at quarterback are on the practice squad: undrafted rookie Anthony Brown, who finished out Sunday’s game, and Brett Hundley.

If Huntley plays, it’ll be interesting whether he alters his style of running. Over the last two weeks, Huntley has been hit on 31.8% of his plays, which ranks only behind New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (34.6%).

Roman said he had “a nice little chat” with Huntley about trying to reduce the amount of contact he takes.

“I’m an aggressive player. I try to get the first down or a touchdown on every down,” Huntley said. “He told me to just slide. That’s something I’m going to try to work on.”

This season, Huntley has completed 79.5% of his passes (35-of-44) for 275 yards. He has thrown no touchdowns and one interception for a 65.1 Total QBR. Huntley has also run for 72 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries.

The Ravens (9-4) have won six of their past seven games and sit in first place in the AFC North. Baltimore’s chances to capture the division increases to 78% with a win in Cleveland (5-8) and decreases to 52% with a loss, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index.

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