Jackson has been nursing an ankle injury that kept him off the field in the Ravens' 31-30 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 15. He did not practice the entire week leading up to the loss, was listed as questionable to play, and ultimately yielded the starting nod to Tyler Huntley.
Head coach John Harbaugh said Friday there was a possibility that Jackson could play against the Packers, but until he returns to the practice field, there can only be so much optimism for his chance of playing against Cincinnati. Earlier Wednesday, Ravens Harbaugh described Jackson's status for practice as "wait and see."
Jackson was carted off the field with the injury during a Week 14 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Since then, Huntley has been effective in Jackson's place. Between his substitute action against the Browns plus his start against the Packers on Sunday, Huntley's completed 55 of 78 passes for 485 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. He's also run for 118 yards and two rushing scores in that span. The Ravens lost both games, however, and have fallen into a tie with the Bengals for first place in the AFC North. The Bengals pummeled Baltimore, 41-17, on Oct. 24, and would hold a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Ravens if they were to earn the season sweep on Sunday.
Jackson has been inconsistent at times this season, with nearly as many interceptions (13) as touchdown passes (16), and has posted a quarterback rating above 100 just once on the year. He's been dangerous as a runner with 767 rushing yards on 133 carries, though not quite as explosive as he was the previous two seasons. He's not led the Ravens to 30-plus points since a Week 9 win over the Minnesota Vikings, but his presence and experience make his return to the lineup critical as the Ravens look to regain control of their division.