OWINGS MILLS, Md. — As if the injuries to the Ravens roster did not create enough challenges, Baltimore is now missing several players for this weekend's game against the Detroit Lions because of COVID-19.
All of these players will affect a defense that has already give up more than 400 yards in each of the last two games.
The Ravens placed outside linebacker Justin Houston, nose tackle Brandon Williams, defensive tackle Justin Madubuike and outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson on the reserve/COVID-19.
Ferguson is the player that reportedly tested positive, and if fully vaccinated, would need two negative tests 24 hours apart to return if he is asymptomatic. Ferguson is subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine if he is unvaccinated.
Baltimore will have to lean heavily on Calais Campbell, Justin Ellis, Broderick Washington and practice-squad player Kahlil McKenzie to help the defensive line with the run game and pass rush.
At outside linebacker, the Ravens still have Tyus Bowser, Odafe Oweh, Daelin Hayes, and possibly Chris Smith, who is on the practice squad. Pernell McPhee is dealing with a shoulder injury and it's uncertain if he can play
The Ravens also have a league-high 15 players on IR.
Lamar Jackson has dealt with a stomach bug this week but should be available to play. The Ravens might need to score a flurry of points to compensate for the losses on defense.
The Lions are averaging 25 points per game and quarterback Jared Goff has thrown for five touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Ravens also have to be wary of Detroit tight end T.J. Hockenson, who leads the team in targets (19), receptions (16), yards (163) and touchdowns (2).
"He’s their best guy," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He’s the guy they go to. Jared Goff is looking for him. They have plenty of good players over there, but he’s the straw that stirs the drink. He can make every kind of play. He runs every kind of route. They try to scheme him open every different kind of way they can, and he’s a guy we have to be very aware of.”