Ravens Will Face Gardner Minshew at Quarterback vs. Colts

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David J. Phillip/AP Photo
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew (10) throws a pass against the Houston Texans during an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Houston.

The Ravens learned Friday which quarterback they will face on Sunday.

Gardner Minshew will start against the Ravens in place of rookie Anthony Richardson (concussion) who missed the entire week of practice, Colts Head Coach Shane Steichen announced.

Minshew made his only career start against the Ravens in 2020 at M&T Bank Stadium while playing with the Jaguars. He completed 22 of 29 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns, but was sacked five times and lost a fumble. The Ravens rolled to a 40-14 victory with Lamar Jackson throwing three touchdown passes.

However, Minshew looked extremely sharp playing in relief of Richardson last week in Houston, entering the game in the second quarter and completing 19 of 23 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown as the Jaguars rolled to a 31-20 victory.

Minshew went 6-6 as a starter for the Jaguars in 2019 and has eight victories in 24 career starts. Head Coach John Harbaugh expects Minshew to come into Sunday’s game with confidence after last week’s performance.

“Gardner Minshew has obviously proven he can win in this league,” Harbaugh said. “He’s played very well many times. He’s a challenging quarterback. He also in that system I think has established himself with Coach Steichen in Philly in terms of running that system. He did it well for a long stretch last year.

“We’ve watched a lot of him. We understand his game. We’ll have our hands full. We’ll have to be at our best to defend him.”

Ravens Have Prepped for Wet Weather

The weekend forecast is calling for rain with Tropical Storm Ophelia expected to move into the area. The Ravens have spent part of the week practicing with wet footballs and putting extra emphasis on ballhandling.

“I talked to the quarterbacks, and they had a plan for that and also (Quarterbacks Coach] Tee [Martin], they had a plan for that,” Harbaugh said. “They feel like we’re ready to go with the ball handling, and that’s probably going to be the case.”

Harbaugh said wind is usually a more challenging element to play in than rain, but it depends on how much rain. Harbaugh recalled facing the Patriots in 2021 during a torrential rainstorm.

“I saw the ball on the ground a lot. I remember seeing that,” Harbaugh said. “That was not good.”

The Colts’ Defensive Line Will Try to Impose Its Will

The strength of the Colts’ team begins with their front seven, which includes a strong defensive line anchored by Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and his running mate at tackle, Grover Stewart.

The Ravens won’t have starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley (knee) and starting center Tyler Linderbaum (ankle) for the second straight game, as both were ruled out on Friday. Patrick Mekari and Sam Mustipher are expected to start at left tackle and center, respectively, and they played in Week 2. However, the Colts may look to turn loose Buckner, Stewart and Pro Bowl linebacker Shaquille Leonard with stunts and blitzing aimed to blow up the Ravens’ game plan.

“It starts with the two tackles. You have to block them,” Harbaugh said. “I think that’s the strength – one of the great strengths – of their defense right now, personnel-wise. We have to do a good job of that, and we will.”

Jeremiah Moon in Line to Make Ravens Debut

Outside linebacker Jeremiah Moon made the practice squad as an undrafted rookie from Florida last year, but didn’t see any game action.

With Odafe Oweh (ankle) ruled out for Sunday, Harbaugh indicated that he expects Moon to be elevated from the practice squad for Week 3. Moon flashed as a pass rusher during training camp and preseason (he had a sack and tackle for loss against the Commanders) and was among the final roster cuts prior to the season.

“I feel good about the guys that are going to get an opportunity to play this week,” Harbaugh said. “They’re excited. Jeremiah Moon comes to mind, and there’s a guy that is going to get out there and play some football, and I can’t wait to see it.”

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