The Baltimore Ravens (8-3) defeated the Cincinnati Bengals (5-5) on their Week 11 TNF matchup but they lost tight end Mark Andrews to an ankle injury just a few plays into the first quarter. Andrews suffered a cracked fibula, a bone between the knee and the ankle, along with ankle ligament damage, per reports.
In an unexpected turn of events, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh provided a rather promising timeline for Andrews' recovery, including his potential return before the season is over.
Harbaugh revealed on Monday, "There's an outside chance" that the three-time Pro Bowl tight end could make a comeback. Most interestingly, Harbaugh said Andrews will "get back at some point in time," leaving the door open for a late-season or, most probably, postseason return by the tight end.
This positive development follows earlier concerns that Andrews had suffered a left ankle injury that would rule him out for the remainder of the season.
Although Harbaugh cautioned against making definitive statements, the truth is he sounded rather optimistic. "[The injury] is a little cleaner than they thought based on the MRI," Harbaugh said, adding, "It wasn’t as bad as initially feared."
Andrews is currently visiting Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, North Carolina, for further evaluation. The Ravens medical staff will get more information upon his return later in the week.
Dr. Anderson is a renowned foot surgeon who counts the likes of Patrick Mahomes among his clients after the two-time Super Bowl champ visited him earlier in his career to undergo surgery.
Andrew's injury resulted from a controversial "hip-drop" tackle by Logan Wilson, who went on to injure Lamar Jackson and Odell Beckham Jr. later in the game with equally dubious maneuvers.
Harbaugh addressed the play simply stating, "The decision on whether to take action on these types of tackles is in good hands with the competition committee," perhaps teasing the expected ban of the tackle in future seasons, starting as soon as the next one.
In Andrews' absence, the Ravens will rely on second-year tight ends Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar, although Harbaugh conceded that replacing Andrews is going to be "impossible," and instead the Ravens will need to do so "together as a group."
The Ravens won't have Andrews available in Week 12 and going forward, and that will also be the case for the Los Angeles Chargers and EDGE Joey Bosa, who will also be put on IR following an injury suffered last Sunday and ahead of the clash against Baltimore next weekend.