The Bengals’ path to sweeping the Ravens this season may be getting a little bit easier. Backup quarterback Lamar Jackson missed today’s practice with what’s being called a stomach issue per Adam Schefter.
As a result, third-string quarterback Robert Griffin III was the only quarterback to practice.
A stomach issue sidelined Lamar Jackson from today’s practice, per source. Robert Griffin III was the lone healthy Ravens’ QB at practice today.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 15, 2018
Baltimore’s starting quarterback Joe Flacco was already not expected to play as he’s currently dealing with a hip injury, and Jackson was being prepped to start in his absence for the first time in his career.
The Ravens have continued to say Flacco could start Sunday without practicing, however.
Ravens OC Marty Mornhinweg on possibility of Joe Flacco (right hip injury) starting Sunday without practicing all week: "He’s got experience. He’s a smart guy. He knows how to prepare. I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t play really well without any practice."— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) November 15, 2018
Sidenote: “I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t play well” may be the best endorsement Flacco has ever gotten.
The Ravens are considerably more healthier than the Bengals right now, but having both of their top quarterbacks battling injuries does not bode well for them at all and could tip the scale towards the Bengals if Griffin III has to play the entire game.
The Bengals have some familiarity with Griffin as they were his opposition for his third start of his career six years ago when he was still the prized possession of the Washington Redskins. The Bengals beat Griffin’s team 38-31 all that time ago. A different Bengals team, and a much different Griffin will possibly take the field on Sunday.
Griffin hasn’t started an NFL game since Week 5 of the 2016 season when he was the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. The Pittsburgh Steelers beat Griffin’s Browns in that game, and Griffin hasn’t played a meaningful snap in the league since.
The career arc for Griffin is a sad one, but the Bengals won’t play with any sympathy if he is forced to trot out there against them if Jackson can’t go. We’ll see if Jackson practices tomorrow and what his status for Sunday ends up being.
As for the Bengals, Thursday’s injury report was mostly the same as Wednesday. The only real differences were Joe Mixon being limited with a knee injury, as well as Dre Kirkpatrick returning to practice while battling his concussion. Mixon’s injury is new, so it will be something to monitor closely on Friday. Kirkpatrick still needs to clear the league’s concussion protocol to play Sunday.
The Bengals could be depleted at wide receiver Sunday, as Josh Malone (hamstring) and A.J. Green (toe) continue to miss practice, while John Ross (groin) remains a limited participant. It looks like there’s a decent chance all three are out Sunday, which would leave the Bengals with Tyler Boyd, Alex Erickson, Cody Core and Auden Tate at wide receiver.
It looks like Darqueze Dennard and Vontaze Burfict are getting close to returning from their injuries, but since they haven’t gotten in a full practice yet, they might not play in Week 10 against the Ravens. The Bengals’ biggest practice of the week is on Thursday with Friday being more of a walkthrough. Hopefully they’ll be back by next week but there is some concern that Burfict’s injury is lingering.