Lamar Jackson day-to-day with sprained ankle; Baltimore Ravens add QB Josh Johnson as insurance

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens are still holding out hope that Lamar Jackson can start against the Green Bay Packers even after the quarterback missed Wednesday's practice with a sprained right ankle.

"It's day-to-day right now," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson before Wednesday's practice. "We got to see how it responds."

Jackson has never missed a game because of injury. This is only the third time this season that an injury has sidelined him from a practice.

In Sunday's 24-22 loss in Cleveland, Jackson sprained his right ankle on the first play of the second quarter and was carted to the locker room. He left FirstEnergy Stadium in a protective boot. On Monday, Harbaugh said the team received "good news" that Jackson didn't suffer a high ankle sprain.

Tyler Huntley has proven to be a viable replacement for Jackson, winning his only previous start, a 16-13 victory in Chicago on Nov. 21. He then nearly rallied Baltimore from 21 points down Sunday in Cleveland.

"[Huntley's] going to get the reps today. That's what we know right now," Harbaugh said. "So him getting the reps today, if he has to play on Sunday, will be a benefit. We'll see where it goes from there. He may play or he may not be playing, depending on Lamar's situation."

Huntley, 23, has impressed the Ravens after going undrafted out of Utah in 2020. Like Jackson, Huntley is a dual threat. He has thrown for 528 yards and rushed for 95 this season.

"He showed that he can be a starter in this league," Ravens outside linebacker Justin Houston said. "I definitely believe in him."

For added insurance, the Ravens signed journeyman quarterback Josh Johnson off of the New York Jets' practice squad. Johnson, 35, could back up Huntley, if Jackson is unable to play.

Johnson was in the Ravens' training camp in 2016. He played for John Harbaugh's brother, Jim, at the University of San Diego 15 years ago.

After being signed by the Ravens on Wednesday morning, Johnson immediately jumped in his car to drive to Baltimore.

"To bring him in here with all things considered -- with the potential to need him this week [and] the potential for the rest of the season [with COVID-19 issues] -- it just makes sense to bring him in," Harbaugh said.

Jackson, the 2019 MVP, has only missed three games in his four-year NFL career. He was sidelined twice because of illness and sat out the 2019 season finale after Baltimore had clinched the AFC's No. 1 seed.

The Ravens (8-5) hold a one-game lead in the AFC North over the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore is looking to avoid a three-game losing streak when it hosts the Packers (10-3) on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.

Harbaugh indicated the Ravens wouldn't consider resting Jackson against Green Bay, though Baltimore plays an important AFC North game in Cincinnati the following week. The Ravens' Dec. 26 game at the Bengals could go a long way in deciding the division title.

"I would say it factors in zero percent because we're trying to win this game," Harbaugh said. "You want to try to get every win you can."