4 players who must step up for the Ravens to make the playoffs

Ravens, Lamar Jackson (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Ravens, Lamar Jackson (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Ravens, Tyre Phillips Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Tyre Phillips, RT, Ravens

The secondary isn’t the only position group that’s been hit hard with injuries. The Ravens are still reeling from the losses of Ronnie Stanley and now Patrick Mekari at offensive tackle.

And the entire offense continues to struggle because of it.

Alejandro Villanueva has filled in admirably for Stanley at left tackle, but it’s clear he’s limited at this stage. The best the Ravens could hope for is competent play.

Meanwhile, Tyre Phillips has been forced into the starting lineup at right tackle since returning from injury. Phillips was the Ravens’ day-one starter at left guard but has been shifted over to the other side of the line out of necessity.

The 24-year-old has predictably struggled, allowing five pressures on just 26 pass-block snaps against the Pittsburgh Steelers two weeks ago. But if the Ravens are going to find success on offense, they’re going to need better play out of their tackles.

Stanley isn’t returning. Mekari’s timetable is unclear. Until he returns, it’ll be Phillips who holds down the starting job. And the Ravens can ill-afford subpar play, especially with their upcoming schedule.

Phillips and the Ravens will be forced to match up with the likes of Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Trey Hendrickson, Leonard Floyd, and T.J. Watt in the coming weeks, not to mention Aaron Donald.

If they’re going to move the ball on offense, they’re going to need Phillips and Villanueva to hold their own.