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Late for Work 12/4: Could Trace McSorley Become Lamar Jackson's Main Backup?

QB Trace McSorley
QB Trace McSorley

Could Trace McSorley Become Jackson's Main Backup?

The highlight on offense for the Ravens against the Steelers was Trace McSorley's 70-yard touchdown pass to Marquise "Hollywood" Brown that cut their deficit to five points late in the game.

McSorley, who came off the Reserve/COVID-19 list the day before, entered the game early in the fourth quarter after Robert Griffin III exited with a hamstring injury. The 2019 sixth-round pick out of Penn State, who had never thrown a pass in an NFL game before Wednesday, also had 16 yards rushing on three carries.

With Griffin hobbled and Jackson's status for Tuesday's game still uncertain, McSorley will likely lead the offense in practices the next couple of days.

"Unless his hamstring pull is really minor, Griffin probably won't be practicing over the next couple of days and he'll be questionable for the game Tuesday," The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec wrote. "The earliest Jackson could practice is believed to be Sunday, so again, if he is cleared and ready, that would give him one full practice and a Monday walk-through to get prepared for the game."

Looking ahead, could McSorley move up to No. 2 on the depth chart?

"While this is clearly Jackson's team, the backup quarterback situation could become intriguing over the final weeks of the season," Sports Illustrated’s Todd Karpovich wrote. "Griffin is an unrestricted free agent in 2021 and wants the opportunity to compete for a starting job. That's not going to happen in Baltimore. McSorley is not eligible for free agency until 2023."

NFL Network film analyst Brian Baldinger was impressed with what he saw from McSorley.

"McSorley found him in that honeycomb hole," Baldinger said. "Just dropped back and made a rifle of a throw right in front of [Terrell] Edmunds and then 'Hollywood' finishes it. … McSorley found him."

Marlon Humphrey Is 'As Good As There Is' in NFL

Ravens fans know how good Marlon Humphrey is, but he doesn't get the national attention he deserves in the opinion of Simms, who said the fourth-year cornerback is "one of the under-the-radar best football players our league has to offer."

Humphrey was one of the standouts for the Ravens defense in the unit's strong performance against Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

The Steelers kept going after Humphrey to no avail. He forced two fumbles in the game to become just the second cornerback to record six forced fumbles in a season since records started being kept in 1999, per 105.7 The Fan's Ken McKusick.

"Man, do the Baltimore Ravens ask a lot of him," Simms said. "They put him on an island against the best receivers in the biggest moments in every football game.

"Oh, it's third-and-5 and we think they're going to go to Eric Ebron, the tight end, cover the tight end. Oh it's third-and-10, here's Chase Claypool, one of the freakier receivers in football, go get on an island and run down the field with him at 4.3. cool no problem. He can do it all, plus he's a real football player. Man, can he tackle. And his ability to punch the ball out is as good as anybody I've seen in football."

Zrebiec wrote: "Marlon Humphrey was the Ravens' best player on the field [Wednesday] and it wasn't particularly close with seven tackles, two pass breakups and two forced fumbles."

After breaking down film of the Steelers game, NFL Network's Brian Baldinger said "every cornerback should study Humphrey to learn how to play like the ultimate technician."

"You can't play the game any better than Marlon Humphrey. As good as there is in this league," Baldinger said. "[The Ravens] are short-changed up front with their defensive linemen out, but on the back end, [you] can't play any better than what Humphrey did [Wednesday] and all season."

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