Ravens Biggest Challenge Against Steelers Will Be in the Trenches

Baltimore short-handed because of COVID-19.
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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens will be challenged to win the battles in the trenches against the Steelers in their delayed Week 12 matchup.

Baltimore will be missing several key players on the offensive and defensive lines against undefeated Pittsburgh.

The Ravens will be missing their top two centers on the depth chart — Matt Skura and Patrick Mekari. Trystan Colon-Castillo, an undrafted rookie, could be called into action. Baltimore could also shift left guard Bradley Bozeman to center, a position he played at the University of Alabama.

Baltimore could get a boost with the return of rookie Tyre Phillips, who missed the last three games with an ankle injury, and veteran D.J. Fluker, who was recently taken off the COVID list. 

As a result, the Ravens should have six offensive linemen available for the game — tackle Orlando Brown Jr., guard Ben Powers, guard Ben Bredeson, Bozeman, Colon-Castillo and Phillips.

Quarterback and reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson will also be sidelined because of COVID-19. Baltimore has a competent backup quarterback in Robert Griffin III, but he will face a fierce Steelers pass rush that leads the NFL with 38 sacks

The Ravens' short-handed roster could get a boost with the return of running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins, both of whom would be eligible to come off the reserve/COVID-19 list after completing the mandatory 10-day quarantine, according to the NFL Network. Both players would have to test negative for the coronavirus and report no symptoms to compete at Heinz Field on Wednesday. 

The Ravens ran for 265 yards in a 28-24 loss to Pittsburgh in Week 8. Dobbins had a season-high 113 yards rushing in that game.

On defense, the Ravens' defensive line will also be shorthanded with Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, and Justin Madubuike on the reserve-COVID-19 list. Campell and Williams missed the previous game against the Titans, who ran for 173 yards in the 30-24 overtime victory.