Ravens QB Tyler Huntley selected as Pro Bowl replacement despite starting 4 games
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley is heading to the Pro Bowl despite starting just four games in 2022.
Huntley was named as a Pro Bowl replacement for Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen on Tuesday. Allen is scheduled to play in the pro-am during the PGA Tour event at Pebble Beach this weekend.
Huntley’s inclusion into the Pro Bowl is odd given his limited playing time and lack of eye-popping stats. But it’s also not a surprise given the way that alternate voting for the Pro Bowl went in December. Huntley was voted the No. 4 alternate for the game despite making just two starts at the time of the voting.
The third-year QB’s inclusion in the Pro Bowl festivities comes after he filled in for an injured Lamar Jackson for the second straight season. Huntley completed two-thirds of his passes for 658 yards and two TDs and three interceptions in 2022. In 2021, Huntley was 122-of-188 passing for 1,081 yards and three TDs and four interceptions. He’s also rushed for over 400 yards and three TDs over 13 games in the past two seasons and also started the Ravens' playoff loss to the Bengals earlier in January.
Why Huntley was named to the Pro Bowl
Voting for Pro Bowl alternates takes place after the teams for the Pro Bowl are announced. That voting is done by players, who have sometimes been known to vote for their teammates and friends instead of the players who may actually be the most deserving.
The three original AFC QBs named to the Pro Bowl weekend were Allen, the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Bengals’ Joe Burrow. The alternates voted in were Tua Tagovailoa, Trevor Lawrence, Jackson and Huntley, in that order.
Tagovailoa is unable to participate in the Pro Bowl weekend because he’s reportedly still in concussion protocol. Lawrence was named as the replacement for Mahomes since the Chiefs are in the Super Bowl. And with Jackson still recovering from the knee injury that sidelined him for the conclusion of the 2022 season, Huntley was the next man up to play in the game with Allen on the golf course.
Who should have gone to the game over Huntley?
There’s no disputing that Huntley’s selection to the Pro Bowl is weird. But the list of qualified quarterbacks who could have been picked over Huntley isn’t as deep as you may think.
The Chargers Justin Herbert would be an obvious choice but he just had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left non-throwing shoulder. Without Herbert, Tagovailoa and Jackson available as alternates, the next-best options for the AFC are players like the Broncos’ Russell Wilson and the Raiders’ Derek Carr. Wilson’s first season in Denver was a massive bust, and Carr was benched for the final two games of the season as the Raiders decided they wanted to move on.
Yet Carr tweeted hours after Huntley's selection was made public that he too was going to the Pro Bowl weekend. He'll ostensibly replace Burrow as the first six choices for the AFC won't be participating.
Well... maybe this invitation got lost in the mail from past seasons but I'm going back to pro bowl #4. See you soon Vegas!
— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) January 31, 2023
The Raiders also confirmed Carr's selection to the Pro Bowl.
The Patriots’ Mac Jones threw just 14 TDs in 14 games while Indianapolis QB Matt Ryan threw the same number of TDs in 12 games. Davis Mills threw for more yards than both Jones or Ryan, but also threw a league-leading 15 interceptions and the Texans were 3-10-1 in his starts.
With all of that context in mind, Huntley’s selection doesn’t look as egregious. And it’s also a great thing for him. He now can say he’s a Pro Bowl quarterback and that’s not a bad thing to have on your resume when you’re entering free agency for the first time.