Tyrod Taylor leaves with left shoulder contusion

Initially, tonight seemed like a prime opportunity for rookie quarterback Tyrod Taylor to prove he was worthy of the Ravens’ backup quarterback job.

Starting QB Joe Flacco didn’t suit up at all, and Taylor was set to play the vast majority of tonight’s preseason finale against the Falcons, giving himself plenty of time to impress the coaching staff.

Instead, Taylor played just two series, and had to leave the game with what the team is calling a left shoulder contusion. For those unfamiliar with that term, a contusion is a fancy way of saying a bruise.

Late in the first quarter, Taylor took a big hit from Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann, who drove the quarterback into the turf. Taylor got up with his left arm dangling, clearly in some discomfort.

He played two more snaps, then jogged off the field to get medical attention. Third-string quarterback Hunter Cantwell came into the game as Taylor went into the locker room with a trainer by his side.

In Taylor’s minimal action tonight, he went 2-of-3 for 16 yards and an interception. Taylor didn’t get a ton of help from his offensive line, as young tackles Ramon Harewood and Jah Reid were burned on multiple plays, allowing defensive linemen to come free on Taylor.

Taylor’s injury could make the Ravens’ decision on a backup quarterback very easy, but not in the way the rookie was intending. If Taylor is out even for a handful of days, GM Ozzie Newsome will need to go out and sign a veteran free agent to back up Flacco.

With the regular season opener now just 10 days away, Taylor picked an awful time to get hurt. Instead of backing up Flacco against Pittsburgh, this injury might very well cause Taylor to become the Ravens’ No. 3 QB.

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