Lamar Jackson’s High School Rival and Former Undrafted Free Agent Tyler Huntley Can Save the Ravens From a Season-Altering Fate
The Baltimore Ravens just received some devastating news. Superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson won’t play in Week 11 against the Chicago Bears, opening the door wide open for Tyler Huntley’s introduction to the NFL.
Who is Tyler Huntley? Well, he and Jackson have history, and he could be the guy who saves the Ravens from a second-straight loss.
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is out against the Bears
Reports surfaced earlier in the week that Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was battling an illness. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, a non-coronavirus (COVID-19) virus impacted the Ravens’ locker room.
The NFL insider just reported that Jackson wouldn’t be able to go against the Bears. Instead, backup quarterback Tyler Huntley will get the start.
The Ravens will desperately miss Jackson’s presence on the field. The fourth-year quarterback is the most electric player in the NFL today.
Baltimore has engaged in a war of attrition throughout the 2021 NFL season. The injury bug has bit the Ravens harder than any other team, and now they must overcome another setback.
Jackson has played like an MVP for most of the season, and no player can duplicate his impact on the field. However, Tyler Huntley is undoubtedly going to try.
Tyler Huntley played against Jackson in high school
Not many have heard of Tyler Huntley, but Lamar Jackson knew him long before he was a Raven.
The two quarterbacks were once gridiron rivals back in their high school days. Jackson attended Boynton Beach Community High School. Huntley played for nearby Hallandale High School.
The two schools battled it out for the district title. Huntley got the better of the former MVP, leading Hallandale to South Florida supremacy.
Huntley loves playing for the Baltimore Ravens, and it was an easy transition from a familiarity standpoint. He already knew Jackson and wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown from their high school days in Florida.
“That’s what really sold it,” Huntley said per ESPN. “Being able to come where you know somebody, you feel better and comfortable to just play football.”
That’s precisely what John Harbaugh and the Ravens will count on Tyler Huntley to do against the Chicago Bears in his first NFL start.
The former undrafted free agent is a perfect fit in Baltimore
Tyler Huntley is no stranger to big games. He played college football at the University of Utah and put up some big numbers while playing in the Pac-12 conference.
The Dania, Florida native threw for 3,092 yards and 19 touchdowns while completing more than 73% of his passes as a senior. He also added five rushing touchdowns for the Utes.
Huntley went undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft despite enjoying a productive college career. The Ravens scooped him up as a free agent, giving Lamar Jackson’s old friend an opportunity to compete.
The 23-year-old started his rookie season on the practice squad, as he was the team’s fourth quarterback on the depth chart. The two players ahead of him were Robert Griffin III and Trace McSorley. RGIII is no longer in the league. Baltimore brought McSorley back after releasing him earlier in the 2021 season.
While Huntley is no Lamar Jackson, he most closely resembles some of the things No. 8 can do on the football field. “He’s a playmaker,” said Ravens wideout Devin Duvernay. “He can throw it, can run it. He can do it all, has a good deep ball. Overall, he’s electric.”
Tyler Huntley put up a monster performance in Week 3 of the preseason, accounting for five total touchdowns. That was the preseason, of course.
Now Huntley has a chance to go from unknown to a hero for the struggling Ravens.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.