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Browns doing 'double duty' in preparation for Ravens QBs

With uncertainty regarding who will start at QB Sunday for Baltimore, the Browns are doing their research on the entire QB room


The Browns might not know which Ravens QB they'll face Saturday at FirstEnergy Stadium until the day before the game — or even kickoff.

It almost certainly won't be Lamar Jackson, who is recovering from a knee injury and didn't start in the Ravens' win over the Steelers last week. It could be Tyler Huntley, who started in place of Jackson in the game but was placed in concussion protocol after taking a hit in the game. Huntley, however, practiced Tuesday and was a limited participant.

If Huntley isn't ready to go, it'll be Anthony Brown, an undrafted rookie from Oregon who stepped in after Huntley exited last week. The Ravens' went heavy on the run with Brown, who passed just five times in 23 plays. He completed three of those attempts for 16 yards.

The Browns are doing their due diligence on everyone, but they're mainly focused on Huntley and Brown given Jackson's low likelihood of suiting up.

"It's just like double duty," S John Johnson III said. "We don't have much tape. (Brown) has some preseason tape. I think he threw the ball five times in the last game. It's just double duty preparing for both. Just trying to be ready for anything."

Check out photos of the throwback white facemasks the Browns will wear on their helmets for their Week 15 game against the Ravens.

The Browns do have some familiarity with Huntley, who started for the Ravens the second time they played the Browns last year. He had some success, too, and completed 27 of 38 passes for 270 yards and one touchdown and rushed six times for 45 yards. The Browns eked out a 24-22 win despite the Ravens nearly closing a 24-6 halftime deficit with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Huntley's talents mirror that of Jackson's — he delivers the football well to receivers, even though most of his throws are shorter passes, and can make plays with his legs. He's far from the Pro Bowl level of Jackson, of course, but he's not easy.

And he has the respect of the Browns.

"If he doesn't like what he sees, he can pull the ball down and make guys miss," Johnson said. "He can make throws. He's very similar to No. 8 (Jackson). Obviously, No. 8 is the guy, but just have to be ready to go because they're all good quarterbacks."

The Browns, or anyone else around the league, still don't know too much about Brown, although his low usage as a passer last game suggests the Ravens could run the ball plenty if he starts. They'll likely do that regardless of their quarterback because that's how their offense is designed, and it's worked. They're third in the league in total rushing yards (2,108) and second in yards per carry (5.2). 

They totaled 215 rushing yards against the Steelers last week. 120 of them came from RB J.K. Dobbins, who was activated from IR and played in his first game since Week 6.

"It's always tough, CB Greg Newsome said. "They're a great running team, as you know. It's going to be a little bit different with Lamar not being out there and that extra run threat of him. That will be a little bit better, but at the end of the day, we have to be gap sound, and we just have to be physical. The game is going to be won in the trenches this week so we're going to have to just be a very physical team this week."

And those requirements won't change regardless of which QB the defense sees Sunday on the first play.

"They're all similar body types and similar skill sets, but they all have little different details about them," Johnson said. "We just have to prepare for all of them."