NFL Wire News

Ravens prepare for two Houston quarterbacks

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Since the Houston Texans have no intentions of revealing the identity of their starting quarterback until kickoff Sunday, the Ravens are planning for both Case Keenum and Thaddeus Lewis.

“We’re not going to publicly name who’s starting,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said during a conference call with Baltimore reporters Wednesday. “We’ll just let everybody see that when the game starts.”

Keenum went 0-8 as a starter for the Texans last season, passing for 1,760 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions. He also lost two of his six fumbles. A pocket passer, Keenum was signed off the St. Louis Rams’ practice squad this week.

Lewis is a mobile former Buffalo Bills quarterback who passed for 1,092 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions last season. He rushed for 52 yards and a touchdown, but also fumbled seven times and lost three of them.

“(We’re) a little busy this week; we have to prepare for two quarterbacks,” outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “We don’t really know which one we’re going to see, so (we) have to prepare for them both. (We) kind of have to have two game plans, and that’s what we’re going to do. It depends on which one we get. That’s when we’ll apply it to the game.”

The Texans are in the unenviable situation of playing untested quarterbacks, having lost Ryan Mallett, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tom Savage to injuries.

The Ravens have 14 sacks in the past two games, including eight Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. So, whoever’s under center is also likely to be under siege. The Ravens’ pass rush is led by Suggs and outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, who have combined for 28 sacks.

“The pass rush is always really important,” coach John Harbaugh said. “It’s a strength of ours, obviously, and we have to play to that strength.”

A few reports out of Texas have indicated that Keenum is the likely starter, but there’s been nothing definitive to convince the Ravens to do anything other than prepare for both Keenum and Lewis.

“We don’t know who we’re going to play,” said Dumervil, who has 17 sacks. “All we can do is just kind of gather up film and try to prepare for everything because they obviously have two choices to go with. As difficult as it may seem for them, it’s difficult for us, too. You have to prepare for the system, but you have to know your personnel. With that being said, we just have a lot of studying to do this week.”

SERIES HISTORY: The Ravens lead 6-1. They lost 43-13 on Oct. 11, 2012 at Houston.

NOTES: CB Chris Greenwood was signed off the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad. He replaces CB Asa Jackson, who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. Jackson was the fifth Ravens cornerback to be declared out for the season. … WR Torrey Smith is the Ravens’ nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award. The winner will be announced during the NFL Honors awards show Jan. 31.


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