The competition between Tyler Huntley and Trace McSorley to be the No. 2 quarterback behind All-Pro starter Lamar Jackson has been one of the bigger storylines this year coming out of Baltimore Ravens training camp.
Now, an injury will play a role in who earns that backup spot to start the 2021 season.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday that McSorley will miss a few weeks with a back injury, opening the door for Huntley, the former Utah star, to capture the backup position.
“He was picking up a box or something the day of the game — we said he had back spasms … he wrenched it in some way, so he’s going to be out a few weeks,” Harbaugh told reporters of McSorley’s injury.
Huntley and McSorley both had their moments during the Ravens’ 17-14 preseason opening win over the New Orleans Saints last Saturday. With Jackson sitting out, McSorley started and led the team to three field goals in the first half, while Huntley took over in the final two quarters and quarterbacked the game-winning touchdown drive midway through the fourth quarter.
Huntley was more efficient, completing 12 of 16 passes for 79 yards on 40 offensive snaps while also rushing for a team-high 43 yards on seven carries, including the game-winning 7-yard run with 6:35 to play. McSorley completed 11 of 18 passes for 86 yards while throwing an interception in 36 snaps.
Huntley had a higher QB rating — 85.2 to 49.8 — and had only one three-and-out in five second-half possessions, while McSorley had three three-and-outs and a turnover on downs in eight first-half possessions.
Harbaugh praised both players for their play, while also hinting Huntley made strides in earning the backup position.
“Tyler came in and played excellent. He made plays with his arm, with his feet and with his head. Thought he did an excellent job,” the coach said. “He took a big step in that direction to be the backup quarterback, I thought, and we’ll just see where it goes.”
To add depth at the position, the Ravens have already re-signed another quarterback, Kenji Bahar.
With McSorley out, Huntley should take the bulk of the quarterback snaps during the final two weeks of the preseason. The Ravens play at Carolina and at Washington the next two Saturdays before their regular-season opener at the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday, Sept. 13.