Things will be very different on Tuesday night, should the Baltimore Ravens game be played:
The Covid-19 list for the Baltimore Ravens will make the Ravens look unrecognizable. This is going to be a very different team. It’s not just because Robert Griffin III is taking snaps. The Ravens are severely hampered and when you look at the reported list of players who will be out, it almost seems impossible for the Ravens to field a team. Impossible it isn’t. Hard it absolutely is.
The Baltimore Ravens will not have the following players for their game with the Pittsburgh Steelers:
- Lamar Jackson
- Pat Ricard
- J.K. Dobbins
- Mark Ingram
- Mark Andrews
- Matt Skura
- Pat Mekari
- D.J. Fluker
- Will Holden
- Brandon Williams
- Justin Madubuike
- Jihad Ward
- Broderick Washington
- Calais Campbell
- Matt Judon
- Pernell McPhee
- Jaylon Ferguson
This list doesn’t include the injuries for the Ravens. The Ravens are completely decimated. That’s the situation. That’s the deal. Some practice squad players wouldn’t figure into the action anyway on the Covid-19 list. When it rains it pours. It pours hard.
The Ravens are most hampered in the trenches. The wide receivers and defensive backs are mostly unaffected. Other than the offensive line, we know what the offense is going to look like. Griffin III will be the quarterback. Gus Edwards and Justice Hill will get the work at the running back position. Dez Bryant, Marquise Brown, Willie Snead, Devin Duvernay, and Miles Boykin are all good to go for this unusual rumble.
The starting tackles are set. Orlando Brown Jr. will remain on the left side. With D.J. Fluker out, the Ravens have to put Tyre Phillips at the right tackle spot. The question becomes what do the Ravens do on the interior of the offensive line? If it were up to me, Bradley Bozeman would move to the center position. Ben Powers and Ben Bredeson would be your guards.
The other option would be putting Trystan Calon-Costillo at the center position, leaving Bozeman at the left guard spot, and the Ravens taking their pick at the right guard position. It’s workable on offense. It won’t be pretty yet this group can in theory be somewhat functional.
So let’s look at the defense. The Ravens are very thin at the defensive line. The players the Ravens have to work with here are Derek Wolfe and Justin Ellis and players from the practice squad. Chauncey Rivers and Aaron Adeoye should get a chance to play and make up for some of what the Ravens are missing.
The Ravens’ linebackers and defensive backs are intact. The defense is put together enough that they should be able to challenge the Steelers. The problem is that with the defensive front this shorthanded, it’s easy to see this team falling apart in the second half.
The Steelers should probably run the ball a lot. The Ravens’ defensive front is a major problem. The Ravens can field a team. They have players to use as starters they just don’t have the resources to keep fresh legs. They will get worn down. That’s inevitable.
The game is possible, but that kind of misses an important point:
That’s what the game is like in terms of who will play. If you’re the Steelers do you really feel comfortable playing this game? The Ravens Covid-19 situation could potentially put their team at risk. The Steelers have some Covid-19 positives as well, including James Connor. Playing this game on Tuesday night is the NFL forcing this. There is more than enough reason to add a week to the end of the season.
John Harbaugh will have to rally his team. Yet a lot of his team, and I mean a lot won’t be there.
The game was postponed twice. I get it. Doesn’t this feel forced though? This tweet by Andrew Brandt makes a very solid point:
The Bottom Line:
The Ravens can play the game. Is it responsible? I’d argue that it isn’t. There’s no way to say that the outbreak is contained. The roster is as thin as you’ll ever see an NFL team’s roster be. Assuming the NFL pushes forward this is the situation for the Ravens. Mind you, that this is a fluid situation that seems to get worse by the minute.
I have never seen anything like this. It’s remarkably strange. It’s hard to imagine this game going well for the Ravens. You never know, however it looks bleak.