The Baltimore Ravens are dealing with the most aggressive outbreak of COVID-19 that any time has had to deal with all season this week and the number of players that have been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List that has swelled with each passing day now includes the reigning league MVP.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson wasn’t quite having the third season he imagined following his breakout year and now he will have to sit out what could be the team’s biggest game of the year if and when they play their rescheduled Week 12 matchup with the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers.
The second meeting between the two bitter rivals this season was originally slated to be played in primetime on Thanksgiving night but had to be postponed to Sunday at 1:15 PM eastern standard time and will still be broadcasted on NBC.
Jackson and veteran defensive end Jihad Ward who also tested positive for COVID on Thursday are the latest in a long list of Ravens players to fall victim to the coronavirus via contraction or close contact to some who has following their Week 11 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
On Monday running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins and nose tackle Brandon Williams were placed on the reserve list. Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee joined them on Tuesday. Wednesday saw defensive end Calais Campbell and offensive linemen Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura test positive as well.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the league will continue to monitor developments, but for the time being, the rescheduled AFC North clash is still slated to be played this week.
As far as where the Ravens turn to at quarterback for Sunday’s game, seven-year veteran Robert Griffin III is expected to be the next man up. If the game is played as currently scheduled, he will be making his second start with the team and first since last year’s season finale against the Steelers coincidently.
The former second overall pick and Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 is the only healthy quarterback on the active roster as it currently stands since third-string signal-caller Trace McSorley was placed on the reserve list late last week.
That means that this week could be the first time that rookie Tyler Huntley gets called up from the practice squad and suits up for his first career NFL game. He signed with Baltimore as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Utah.
In his lone start for the team, Griffin led a Ravens team that sat several starters for some extra rest before the postseason to a commanding 28-10 win over a Steelers team that had everything to play for and against a defense that was just as dominant as this year’s group and even included star middle linebacker Devin Bush so hope is still alive Flock faithful.
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