The Baltimore Ravens will play for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday afternoon after testing positive for COVID-19, three shifts and the Christmas tree lights at Rockefeller Center for 10 days.
It's like 2020. It's actually more like 2012.
Instead of Lamar Jackson throwing passes at Mark Andrews, a national television audience (3:40 ET, NBC) will watch Robert Griffin III throw the ball at Dez Bryant. It was eight years ago when Griffin was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and Bryant got 92 passes. Now they are asked to help the Ravens upset the only undefeated team in the NFL.
Robert Griffin III, who has started just four games in the last two seasons, will be looking to revive his 2012 offensive Rookie of the Year magic against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. Fred Kfoury III / Icon Sportswire
One of the biggest outbreaks in professional sports has decimated the Baltimore roster. The Ravens currently have 17 players on the Reserve / COVID-19 roster, including six Pro Bowl players and the reigning NFL MVP in Jackson.
"It's never about who isn't playing," Pro Bowl linebacker Matthew Judon said at the start of the outbreak, before testing positive. "It's always about who is playing."
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So who exactly is playing for Baltimore?
The Ravens have 11 different starters from their opening game. Just 90 minutes before kick-off, Baltimore called 10 players on the training team to fill out their 48-man list for the day of the game
Here is the list of match days:
Quarterback: Griffin, Trace McSorley, Tyler Huntley (practice group). The 30-year-old Griffin is starting for the second time in four years. In last season's final, he knocked out the Steelers with a less than outstanding performance while many Ravens starters were resting. Griffin was 11 of 21 for 96 yards and an interception. When McSorley can't play, the primary backup is Huntley, an uncovered rookie who went 23-10 in Utah. With no preseason games this year, Huntley has yet to snap a snap in an NFL game.
Back race: Gus Edwards, Justice Hill and Ty & # 39; Son Williams (PS). J.K. Dobbins, Mark Ingram were not removed from the reserve / COVID-19 list after failing to exercise since testing positive on November 22nd. The expectation is that Edwards will get the start and be supported by Hill, a seldom-used fourth round 2019 pick and Williams who has just been lifted off the training team. Edwards has reached a total of 217 yards in his last two games against Pittsburgh.
Could Dez Bryant be Baltimore's X-Factor if the Ravens miss 16 players and the wide receiver corps underperforms? Patrick Smith / Getty Images
Broad receiver: Marquise Brown, Bryant, Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay and James Proche. One of the worst-producing broad audience groups lost their most consistent player, Willie Snead, who tested positive over the weekend. Brown, intended for Baltimore's # 1 receiver, has made a total of six catches in the last four games. Bryant led all Ravens wide receivers with four receives for 28 yards in the last game. Could Bryant be Baltimore's X-Factor?
Close end: Luke Willson (PS), Sean Culkin (PS), Eric Tomlinson (PS). The Ravens have lost their two top tight ends Andrews (tested positive) and Nick Boyle (knee injury at the end of the season) along with their Pro Bowl full-back Patrick Ricard (tested positive) in the past two weeks. This leaves Baltimore with three tight ends on the training team who have made 10 catches in the past two seasons.
Offensive line: Orlando Brown Jr., Tire Phillips, Bradley Bozeman, Ben Powers, D.J. Fluker, Trystan Colon-Castillo, Ben Bredeson, Jake Rodgers, R.J. Prince (PS). The ravens' two best centers, Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura are on the reserve / COVID-19 list. Baltimore's options to replace her are either Bozeman, who has never started an NFL game in the middle, or Colon-Castillo, an uncovered rookie who has not yet played an NFL snap. In both cases, this is the sixth attacking starting line combination this season.
Baltimore will miss three starters from the defensive line, so Derek Wolfe is the only raven with experience. Robin Alam / Icon Sportswire
Line of defense: Derek Wolfe, Yannick Ngakoue, Justin Ellis, Broderick Washington, Aaron Crawford (PS). This was the position hardest hit by the coronavirus. Three defenders, including Pro Bowl defender Calais Campbell, are on the reserve / COVID-19 list. With Brandon Williams out of the game due to an ankle injury, Wolfe remains the only remaining starter, along with a former fourth round Raiders pick (Ellis) and a fifth round rookie (Washington) who has played 46 snaps this season.
Outside linebacker: Jaylon Ferguson, Tyus Bowser, Aaron Adeoye (PS) and Chauncey Rivers (PS). Baltimore is without its two front-runners in quarterback hits Judon, 17 and Pernell McPhee, 11, both of which are on the reserve / COVID-19 list. Bowser and Ferguson, who scored 13 quarterback hits, will replace them. The bigger question is, like Judon and McPhee, can they stay ahead of the curve.
Inside linebacker: Patrick Queen, L. J. Fort, Malik Harrison, Chris Board, Kristian Welch. This position was not affected by the outbreak.
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Cornerback: Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Jimmy Smith, Tramon Williams and Davontae Harris. The only concern is whether Smith, who is in question with ankle and back injuries, will play. It is injuries, not the coronavirus, that have affected this position. Baltimore has five cornerbacks in their injured reserve.
security: Chuck Clark, DeShon Elliott, Anthony Levine and Jordan Richards. Rookie safety Geno Stone tested positive on Tuesday. He has played two games this season and only played on special teams.
Special teams: Justin Tucker (K), Sam Koch (P) and Nick Moore (LS / PS). This is the first time in six years that Morgan Cox, who is on the Reserve / COVID-19 list, won't be Baltimore's long snapper. The Ravens made a smart move, wearing Moore, a former member of the XFL's Tampa Bay Vipers, on their training team for the entire season.