Tyler Huntley spent part of the week in concussion protocol, but doesn't believe he suffered a concussion.
Huntley was a full participant in practice Thursday for the second straight day and has been cleared to start at quarterback when the Ravens visit the Browns on Saturday. With Lamar Jackson (knee) ruled out against Cleveland, Huntley has no doubt he'll be ready to start his second straight game.
"I've been good. I don't think I had a concussion," Huntley said. "They were doing their job, making sure I was safe. Clearly, I'm safe enough to play this week."
Huntley understands why the league is being more cautious regarding player safety, especially with quarterbacks. The NFL's concussion protocols have been updated this season after an episode that involved Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in Week 3. Tagovailoa briefly staggered on the field after hitting the back of his head on the turf while being tackled against the Bills. After returning to play in that game, Tagovailoa had to be carted off the field on Thursday Night Football four days later, after hitting his head on the turf again.
The scary scene raised concern. After an investigation, the NFL enacted the “Tua Rule” ahead of Week 5, which has added motor instability to the symptoms that mandate a player to be immediately removed from the game.
Huntley was happy to clear concussion protocol this week, and he's planning on doing more to avoid taking big hits, as Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman has suggested.
"I'm an aggressive player," Huntley said. "I try to get the first down on every down. He told me just slide, that's what I'm going to do. It's hard. It's like a .5-second decision you've got to make. I'm not thinking of that. I'm thinking about getting the first down."
Kevin Zeitler Rarely Misses Games, and Hates When it Happens
After testing his knee during pre-game warmups against the Steelers in Week 14, right guard Kevin Zeitler missed his second game in eight seasons.
He was a full participant in Thursday's practice (a walk-through estimation) and hopes to play against the Browns. Sitting out against Pittsburgh was tough. As one of the league's most durable players, Zeitler hopes never to repeat that scene.
"I definitely do not prefer that to ever happen again, but for the best interests of the team and everything, the decision was made," Zeitler said. "We have a lot of season left still, and we have to look at that. Hopefully it never happens again."
Ravens Are Wary of Nick Chubb's Big Play Ability
Containing running back Nick Chubb will be a top priority for Baltimore's defense Saturday. One of the league's most talented backs, Chubb has 1,153 yards rushing, third in the NFL behind Josh Jacobs (1,402) and Derrick Henry (1,199). Chubb's rare combination of power and speed makes him a threat to score from long distance.
"That's the big challenge with him because any play can be that play," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "[They have] a big, physical offensive line, they have good blocking tight ends, the receivers are blocking and he's a powerful, tough runner.
"Chubb has that speed. If you're not right there to stop the play and he cracks through there, then he can accelerate and go, and we've seen that obviously in the past."
The Browns will sometimes go up-tempo with Chubb in the game, hoping to pop a long play against a fatigued defense. Chubb can turn one missed tackle into a huge gain.
"We prepare for no huddle all the time," Harbaugh said. "It's tough to defend it. The tempo changes, the plays change and they find something. Any offense is always looking for something to spark them, and sometimes it can be a change of tempo. That's something that we're very aware of."