The Baltimore Ravens beat the Cincinnati Bengals 34-20 in a key division matchup that moves them into the driver's seat in the division. They have a big lead now, but the bad news is losing Mark Andrews for the season in the meantime.
Andrews was the Ravens' best offensive weapon and will cause the team to make plenty of changes. What will the team do?
4. The Baltimore Ravens will be asking more from their backup tight ends
Without Mark Andrews, one obvious change coming is an increased use in the Ravens tight ends. When Andrews left, the Ravens immediately turned to Isaiah Likely, who played a season-high 49 snaps and 74% of the overall work. Likely did not catch a pass, and early in the first half, Lamar Jackson took a sack on what appeared to be a miscommunication with Likely.
He had instructions for Likely after the play. Likely has been a disappointment this year, but a lot of that comes back to opportunity. Now that he is ready to hit the field, the Ravens are expecting bigger things.
Still, they have a backup option in Charlie Kolar. Kolar was injured last year but was drafted before Likely. He has played of the 14% snaps this season and played 11 snaps with Andrews out on Thursday.
He caught a pass for 13 yards against the Bengals. Kolar went from averaging 4.2 snaps per game in the first five weeks of the season to 12 snaps per game over the most recent five. That is a strong increase.
Look for Kolar to get even more work, as the Ravens were seeing Likey on the field for about 32% of the snaps when he was the backup tight end. It will not be the same, but the presence of Likely and Kolar does make the hurt a bit easier to swallow.