Patrick Mekari to Start at Center in Place of Struggling Matt Skura for Ravens
BALTIMORE — Patrick Mekari will take over as the starting center in place of the struggling Matt Skura for the Ravens, according to multiple reports.
Skura has struggled over the last two games.
In a Week 9 24-10 victory over the Colts, Skura was dealing with a cut on his hand that led to some high and wide snaps.
Skura had some of the same challenges in a 23-17 Week 10 loss against New England. In one instance, he sailed the ball past running back Mark Ingram who was lined up in the "Wildcat" that gave the Patriots the ball. Later, another bad snap that got past quarterback Lamar Jackson cost the Ravens 16 yards late in the fourth quarter.
"The hand injury is not a factor," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said on Monday following the game."The snaps concern us, absolutely. That was very costly in the game. It’s a tough deal. Matt knows he has to get those snaps back there. Nobody feels worse about that than he does."
Skura later posted a note on Instagram asking people not to send "hateful or threatening" messages to his family after the game against New England.
Jackson defended Skura after the Patriots game that was played in a steady rain and heavy wind. Jackson also took issue with some of the fans' response to Skura's mistakes.
"Some of the fans are not out there – or none of them are out there – doing what we’re doing," Jackson said. "Skura has a lot to do out there; he has to make checks – and stuff like that – for the line. So, there are a lot of things that go on, and people shouldn’t be messing with his family at all. That’s a human being at the end of the day. That’s my teammate. That’s my brother. So, yes, that’s just ‘B.S.’”
Baltimore is 6-3 and currently holds the seventh and final spot for the playoffs. The Ravens play the Tennessee Titans in Week 11.
Last year, Skura was having his best season before suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 12 against the Los Angeles Rams. He was ranked as the 22nd best center in pass blocking (63.9), according to Pro Football Focus. He also had started 29 consecutive games and was No. 2 in Pro Bowl voting.
Mekari started five started after Skura went down with the injury and performed well.
The Ravens have already made several adjustments to the offensive line with a season-ending knee injury to Pro Bowl left tackle Ronnie Stanley and an ankle injury to rookie right guard Tyre Phillips, who was placed on IR.