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How Ravens QB Lamar Jackson being unavailable in Week 16 impacts Falcons

Tyler Huntley will start at quarterback against Atlanta on Saturday

Dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson did not participate in practice all week while dealing with a knee sprain and has been formally ruled out of Saturday's matchup against the Falcons, the Ravens announced on Thursday.


Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley was also listed on the Ravens injury report as a limited practice participant this week dealing with a right shoulder issue, but he will be the Ravens starting quarterback against the Falcons in Week 16.

That could make life easier on the Falcons now that they don't have to see Jackson, one of the NFL's most dynamic players.

The Jackson news came out Thursday, so the Falcons had to prep for multiple possibilities at quarterback this week. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees said that they tried to prepare for the coach as much as the quarterback.

"It seems like, in this league, lately that's the case all the time because every quarterback is getting hurt. It's been crazy," Pees said on Wednesday. "You just have to prepare more for the coordinator, maybe, than you do the actual quarterback. At the same time, you have to prepare like it's going to be Lamar, and you have to prepare like it's not. There are certain plays that are never going to change. They're staples. They're going to show up no matter who the quarterback is. You have to make sure you have those handled. Then, it's just a matter of what style quarterback they have. If you look at all of their quarterbacks, they're the same style quarterback."

Huntley is also a mobile quarterback like Jackson who can extend plays through the air and on the ground. He'll be a challenge for the Falcons defense to defend, but head coach Arthur Smith acknowledged what most know -- Jackson is a truly special player.

"Lamar is on a different level," Smith said on Monday. "He's a guy that, unless you're playing him, he's one of the most exciting players to watch. It's rare when you have a player that when he has the ball in his hands, he can score from anywhere. We've seen him do it. I've seen it up close and personal when I was at Tennessee. We were in some really big games with him in the '19 and '20 seasons. He's an electric football player. That's not a shot at anybody. There's only one Lamar Jackson."

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