Ravens: 4 players who must step up in light of COVID-19 absences

Ravens, Calais Campbell (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Ravens, Calais Campbell (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Ravens, Odafe Oweh Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

4. Odafe Oweh, OLB, Ravens

Odafe Oweh has been arguably one of the Ravens’ best players through the first two weeks of the season. And considering what role many expected him to play as a rookie, it’s safe to say he’s quickly been exceeding expectations.

The Ravens will need him more than ever in Week 3, though, with Houston and Ferguson both out.

The rookie first-round pick led all Ravens outside linebackers in snaps this past Sunday as he was on the field for 75 percent of defensive plays. Don’t expect that number to drop this weekend — it might even increase.

Pernell McPhee was held out of Friday’s practice and is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury. Assuming he can’t play (which seems somewhat likely), the Ravens will be forced to lean on Oweh and Tyus Bowser for most of the game.

There’s also fifth-round rookie Daelin Hayes (who is also questionable) and practice squad member Chris Smith, but there’s no doubt that Oweh and Bowser will do the heavy lifting.

Oweh is the player to watch here. The reigning AFC Defensive Player of the Week almost single handily helped Baltimore secure a victory a week ago.

They’ll need that same type of production in Week 3.

From a player who many believed would play a situational role as a rookie to someone who might be playing 80 percent of defensive snaps, Odafe Oweh has quickly proved his detractors (and even many of his supporters) wrong.

He will play a very large role in Week 3.