The Baltimore Ravens will play on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday afternoon due to 10 days of optimistic checks for COVID-19, three postponements and the Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Middle.
That is so 2020. Really, it is extra like 2012.
As a substitute of Lamar Jackson throwing passes to Mark Andrews, a nationwide tv viewers (3:40 ET, NBC) will watch Robert Griffin III tossing the ball to Dez Bryant. It was eight years in the past when Griffin received the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Yr and Bryant caught 92 passes. Now, they’re being requested to step up and assist the Ravens upset the NFL’s solely undefeated group.
One of many largest outbreaks in professional sports has decimated the Baltimore roster. The Ravens presently have 16 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, which incorporates six Professional Bowl gamers and the reigning NFL MVP in Jackson.
“It’s by no means about who’s not enjoying,” Professional Bowl linebacker Matthew Judon stated at first of the outbreak earlier than he examined optimistic. “It’s at all times about who’s enjoying.”
So, who precisely is enjoying for Baltimore?
As of Tuesday night time, the Ravens may have at the very least 10 totally different starters from their season-opening sport. There might be as many as 10 totally different gamers on the lively 48-man game-day roster. Baltimore might be calling up seven or eight follow squad gamers simply hours earlier than kickoff.
Here’s a have a look at what the game-day roster would possibly seem like:
Quarterback: Griffin, Trace McSorley, Tyler Huntley (follow squad). Griffin, 30, makes his second begin in 4 years. In final season’s finale, he knocked off the Steelers whereas many Ravens starters rested with a less-than stellar efficiency. Griffin was 11-of-21 passes for 96 yards and one interception. If McSorley is unable to play, the first backup is Huntley, an undrafted rookie who went 23-10 at Utah. With no preseason video games this 12 months, Huntley has but to take a snap in an NFL sport.
Working again: Gus Edwards, J.K. Dobbins, Mark Ingram, Justice Hill. Dobbins and Ingram are anticipated to get activated off the COVID-19 listing earlier than the sport, nevertheless it’s doubtless neither will play. Dobbins, who was positioned to take over as the highest again, hasn’t practiced since testing optimistic on Nov. 22. The expectation is Edwards will get a majority of the carries. He has totaled 217 yards dashing in his final two video games towards Pittsburgh.
Vast receiver: Marquise Brown, Bryant, Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, James Proche. One among worst producing broad receiver teams misplaced its most constant receiver in Willie Snead IV, who examined optimistic over the weekend. Brown, who was imagined to Baltimore’s No. 1 broad receiver, has totaled six catches up to now 4 video games. Bryant led all Ravens broad receivers final sport with 4 receptions for 28 yards. Might Bryant turn out to be Baltimore’s X-factor?
Tight finish: Luke Willson (PS), Sean Culkin (PS), Eric Tomlinson (PS). The Ravens misplaced their high two tight ends over the previous two weeks — Andrews (examined optimistic) and Nick Boyle (season-ending knee damage) — together with their Professional Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard (examined optimistic). That leaves Baltimore with three follow squad tight ends who’ve mixed for 10 catches during the last two seasons.
Offensive line: Orlando Brown Jr., Tyre Phillips, Bradley Bozeman, Ben Powers, D.J. Fluker, Trystan Colon-Castillo, Ben Bredeson, Jake Rodgers, R.J. Prince (PS). The Ravens’ high two facilities — Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura — are on the reserve/COVID-19 listing. Baltimore’s choices to interchange them are both Bozeman, who has by no means began an NFL sport at heart, or Colon-Castillo, an undrafted rookie who has but to play one NFL snap. Both means, it will mark the sixth totally different beginning offensive line mixture this season.
Line of defense: Derek Wolfe, Yannick Ngakoue, Justin Ellis, Broderick Washington, Aaron Crawford (PS). This has been the place that is been hardest hit by the coronavirus. Three defensive linemen together with Professional Bowl defensive finish Calais Campbell are on the reserve/COVID-19 listing. With Brandon Williams dominated out as a result of an ankle damage, that leaves Wolfe as the one remaining starter together with a former Raiders fourth-round decide (Ellis) and a rookie fifth-round decide (Washington) who has performed 46 snaps this season.
Outdoors linebacker: Jaylon Ferguson, Tyus Bowser, Aaron Adeoye (PS), Chauncey Rivers (PS). Baltimore is with out its high two leaders in quarterback hits: Judon (17) and Pernell McPhee (11), each of whom are on the reserve/COVID-19 listing. Bowser and Ferguson, who’ve mixed for 13 quarterback hits, will change them. The larger situation is whether or not they can set the sting like Judon and McPhee towards the run.
Cornerback: Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Jimmy Smith, Tramon Williams, Davontae Harris, Pierre Desir (PS), Nate Hairston (PS), Nate Brooks (PS). The one concern is whether or not Smith, who’s questionable with ankle and again accidents, will play. It is accidents, not the coronavirus, which have taken a toll on this place. Baltimore has 5 cornerbacks on injured reserve.
Security: Chuck Clark, DeShon Elliott, Anthony Levine, Jordan Richards, Nigel Warrior (PS). Ravens rookie security Geno Stone examined optimistic Tuesday. He has performed two video games this season and performed solely on particular groups.
Particular groups: Justin Tucker (Ok), Sam Koch (P) and Nick Moore (LS/PS). This marks the primary time in six years that Morgan Cox, who’s on the reserve/COVID-19 listing, won’t be Baltimore’s long-snapper. The Ravens made a sensible transfer carrying Moore, a former member of the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers, on the follow squad all season.