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, Calais Campbell
Ravens, Calais Campbell Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Calais Campbell, DE, Ravens

The Ravens will be down three of their top four defensive linemen this Sunday in Brandon Williams, Derek Wolfe, and Justin Madubuike.

And as the lone remaining starter, Calais Campbell will understandably be asked to carry the load this week.

Campbell is off to a strong start in 2021, despite a relatively unimpressive stat line. The 14-year NFL veteran has just four tackles and one QB hit through two games, but his impact has extended well beyond that.

Campbell is the Ravens’ highest-graded defensive player per Pro Football Focus with only Marquise Brown receiving a higher overall grade.

His 82.4 overall grade is good for the sixth-best interior defensive lineman in football. Sure, it’s a small sample size, but Campbell has been effective to this point.

But he might be forced to make a bit more of an impact on the stat sheet this week with a number of his teammates sidelined.

Although this Lions team has its weaknesses, they’ve managed to run the ball effectively this season with the duo of D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams getting the job done.

That could provide troublesome against a Ravens defense missing Williams, Wolfe, and Madubuike. The pressure will be on Campbell for him to not only pick up the slack in run defense but to make an impact as a pass rusher with Houston absent.

Next. Ravens: 3 things that must improve in Week 3 against the Lions. dark

Calais Campbell is the lone defensive line starter standing. The success of the defense line on Sunday might ultimately rest on his shoulders.