Keith Wenning was a surprise to many people, an underdog out of Ball State whom the Ravens drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 draft. He was tall-ish, but posseses outstanding composure and posted 35 touchdowns in his senior campaign in college. Yet, he did not make the 53-man roster of the Ravens that season, and was cut in May of this year.
So he never got to truly see live playing time for the team that drafted him.
Now, he has a chance to face the team that drafted him. Live playing time, indeed.
Bengals interim starter A.J. McCarron has a sprained left wrist and there has been speculation about his availability for Sunday. After the Monday Night loss to Denver, the Bengals need a win to bolster their playoff status in case of a Denver Broncos loss, and to also be ready for upsets causing tiebreaker situations. It is possible for them to get the 2nd seed and a bye, so they certainly want to complete a sweep of the Ravens. Their insistence that McCarron will be ready to start is dubious; Wenning very well could be the next man up.
So depending on A.J McCarron's MRI today, Sunday's game could be Bengals' QB Keith Wenning vs Ravens' QB Ryan Mallett. Who'd have thought?— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 29, 2015
The MRI revealed a sprain in McCarron's wrist.
Of note is the reasoning for Wenning's departure. Baltimore signed North Carolina undrafted rookie QB Bryn Renner to a futures contract towards the end of the 2014 season. At a minicamp in 2015, he outshone Wenning, reportedly with a better grasp of the playbook, which at that point unforgivable for Wenning. This was because Wenning spent an entire season on the practice squad and had seen playing time in the 2014 preseason. So the Ravens released Wenning and signed Renner in his place, so to speak, on the practice squad. Perhaps Wenning will have a chip on his shoulder if he gets on the field against the Ravens.
Buyer beware, though. The Ravens will come after this young gun, who is not known for arm strength. Personally, after having watched his preseason performance, I do not think Wenning could beat us. It is doubtful enough that an injured McCarron would, if one considers the high this team must be on right now after beating the Steelers.
In this preseason pass, Wenning completed it to Michael Campanaro for 39 yards, but notice how the pass floated short, forcing an adjustment.
The best story for Ravens fans would be to face Wenning in his first NFL action, and either champion the decision of the front office to let him go, or bemoan the allowance of talent to slip through.
My money's on the championing.