The Detroit Lions’ Week 3 opponent, the Baltimore Ravens, have declared their injury designations and not only are they down two starting linemen (one on offense and one on defense), they potentially lost four more front-seven defenders (including two more starters) due to a positive COVID-19 test result.
Let’s take a look at the fallout, with the starters bolded.
- EDGE Jaylon Ferguson
- EDGE Justin Houston
- NT Brandon Williams
- DT Justin Madubuike
According to ESPN, Ferguson tested positive for COVID-19 and through contract tracing, Houston, Williams, and Madubuike fall under the “high-risk close contact” category.
Ferguson, a third year reserve RUSH linebacker, has a chance to clear the leagues COVID-19 protocols if he falls into the right category and follows a few key steps. Per ESPN, “if fully vaccinated, Ferguson would need two negative tests 24 hours apart to return, as long as he is asymptomatic. If unvaccinated, Ferguson is subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine.”
While Ferguson’s status is currently up in the air, we know for sure that the other three will miss this weekends game.
“For close contacts, the NFL policy states that unvaccinated players must stay away from the team for five days,” ESPN continued. “Vaccinated players do not have to quarantine if they are a close contact.”
Therefore, because Houston, Williams, and Madubuike are all labeled “close contacts,” it means they cannot return for five days.
Not only are Houston and Williams technically starters, but Madubuike was starting in place of Derek Wolfe who has been dealing with an injury—and Wolfe has been ruled out again this week.
- LT Ronnie Stanley (Ankle)
- DE Derek Wolfe (Hip/Back)
The Ravens down defensive linemen are suddenly thin. With Wolfe and Madubuike out, the Ravens will turn to their third option Broderick Washington to start on the defensive line. Williams, will likely be replaced by Justin Ellis at nose tackle. Calais Campbell will maintain his starting role to round out the group. At this time there are no reserves on the active roster, but Baltimore will likely promote a practice squad defensive lineman or two.
Losing Stanley is a big blow for the Ravens, but they managed to beat the Kansas City Chiefs last week without him by shifting Alejandro Villanueva from right to left tackle and starting reserve interior lineman Patrick Mekari at right tackle.
- QB Lamar Jackson (Illness)
- WR Marquise Brown (Ankle)
- EDGE Pernell McPhee (Shoulder)
- LB Chris Board (Other)
- CB Jimmy Smith (Ankle)
- NB Tavon Young (knee)
- S DeShon Elliott (Concussion)
Jackson missed Thursday’s practice with an illness, but was back in full on Friday and is expected to be full go on Sunday.
Brown went from limited on Wednesday, to out on Thursday, and back to limited on Friday. That much fluctuation leaves his status a bit in doubt but getting in some practice is encouraging for his status.
At RUSH linebacker, things are cloudier because it’s possible as many as five RUSH linebackers are available on Sunday, but there’s also a chance only two are cleared to play. With Houston out, first round rookie Odafe Oweh will likely get the start opposite Tyrus Bowser. McPhee, the next in line reserve, injured his shoulder late in the week and his questionable label comes with some concern. Next in line would be Ferguson (whose status is in flux, as we discussed) and Daelin Hayes (in the next section) who also had a mid-week injury (knee), though he is not listed with an injury designation.
Board missed practice with an “other” label, which could be a variety of things, but it’s being speculated that he was held out of Friday’s practice for contact tracing purposes.
Young didn’t practice on Wednesday but was limited on Thursday and fully practiced on Friday. The Ravens nickel is trending in the right direction. Smith, a former outside starting corner now relegated to reserve duties was limited all week.
Elliott missed Wednesday and Thursday with a concussion, but somehow practiced in full on Friday. It seems like the starting safety skipped a step or two in the league’s five-step concussion protocol rules, but regardless, he seems on track to potentially play on Sunday.
No injury designation
- EDGE Daelin Hayes (Knee)
With the question marks on the EDGE, Hayes getting in a full practice on Friday and not having an injury designation is a good sign for the Ravens’ depth.