When the Baltimore Ravens returned to practice November 16 for the first time since their bye week, two of their top playmakers were back in action, albeit on a limited basis.
Running back Gus Edwards (hamstring) and tight end Mark Andrews (knee, shoulder) missed the team’s Week 9 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
Andrews, who hadn’t practiced since October 21, wasn’t on the field during the portion of practice that was open to media because he was going through an extended warmup.
“You talk to Mark, he sounds very positive — obviously — about it, and the trainers, as well,” head coach John Harbaugh said in a post-practice press conference. “We’ll see how it progresses throughout the rest of the week.”
Both players could return to the lineup for the Ravens’ November 20 game against the Carolina Panthers. Andrews is the team’s leader in targets (64), receptions (42), receiving yards (488), and receiving touchdowns (five). Edwards played in two games before sustaining his injury and Harbaugh said he was “hopeful” that he would be back in action on Sunday.
“You just never know,” he said. “I was planning on him being back this game, and we’ll see if he makes it.”
Rookie Pass Rusher Could Make NFL Debut in Week 11
The Ravens’ much-improved pass rush has arguably been the biggest driving force for their impressive turnaround on defense from earlier in the season. The already-potent unit could be getting another boost this week if first-year outside linebacker David Ojabo can make his long-anticipated debut against the Panthers.
“It’s possible,” Harbaugh said. “He’s looking better and better out there.”
Ojabo fell to the second round of the draft because he suffered a torn Achilles at his Pro Day. The injury cost him all of training camp and the entire preseason, too.
Harbaugh said Ojabo was “in the same category” as tight end Charlie Kolar, another injured rookie who only recently has begun practicing.
“They had nothing really stacked up until like two weeks ago,” Harbaugh said. “They both look really good. I think they could both play, and if we have an opportunity to put them out there, we will.”
Ravens Aren’t Taking Any Opponent ‘Lightly’
After emerging through the hardest portion of their schedule with an impressive 6-3 record, the Ravens have the league’s easiest remaining schedule, based on the win-to-loss ratio of their next eight opponents.
Even though they won’t face a team with a winning record until their regular season finale matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens vow they won’t be overlooking or underestimating anybody down the stretch, starting with the 3-7 Panthers.
“We don’t take it lightly on any opponent,” quarterback Lamar Jackson said in a post-practice press conference. “This is an NFL game. Every team has the best players in the world out there, so we’re not going to shy away from any opponent out there on that field.”
Harbaugh said he didn’t believe keeping the team focused or motivated was “even an issue,” reiterating that they will be dialed in each week no matter who the opponent, or their record, is.
“What’s understood really doesn’t have to be explained,” he said. “Our guys are motivated to go win the game.”
The Panthers are coming off an upset the Atlanta Falcons, and Harbaugh both showed them respect and gave them praise for their potential to make plays on both sides of the ball.
“This is a very good football team we’re playing; they’re very physical, they play really hard, great running game, downhill running game, playmakers on offense,” he said. “Then certainly, this defense just flies around; they have playmakers on every level of their defense. So, we’re going to have to play our best football to win this game.”