The Kansas City Chiefs are facing a hobbled Baltimore Ravens squad in Week 2. Between injuries to the backfield and in the secondary, it’s a lie to say Kansas City is facing the best version of the Ravens on Sunday Night Football. And based on how the week leading up to the prime-time matchup is progressing, Baltimore may be even more banged up than they have been since the injury bug began plaguing the team towards the end of August.
Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown, a first-round pick by the team in 2019, has been a non-participant in practice on the first two injury reports of the week due to an ankle injury, according to the Ravens official Twitter account.
UPDATE – Marquise Brown is listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week for the game vs. the Chiefs.
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Brown was the top-targeted receiver in Baltimore’s offense in 2020, per Football Guys, receiving 99 targets and bringing in 58 of them for 769 yards — 13.3 yards per reception — and eight touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference. In Week 1 against the Las Vegas Raiders, Brown was the second-most targeted player on the team (6) behind former Kansas City wideout Sammy Watkins (8) and caught all of his targets for 69 yards and one touchdown.
What This Means
If Brown is unable to play against the Chiefs then the Ravens will be superbly thin at receiver. Watkins, Devin Duvernay, James Proche, and Tylan Wallace are the only other wideouts remaining on the roster, with Duverney also being listed as a limited participant during Thursday’s practice due to a groin issue.
This is good news for Kansas City’s defense. After getting torched by the Browns offense in the regular-season opener, the Chiefs could use a bounce-back game as they welcome back safety Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark to the lineup, who missed the season opener to due COVID and a hamstring injury, respectively. Not having Brown in the lineup would mean the Chiefs’ secondary could more easily keep plays in front of them instead of being gashed occasionally for a big play downfield in the passing game.
What Chiefs Coaches Are Saying
Here’s what Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo had to say about the Ravens offense during his presser leading up to the Sunday night showdown:
“Yeah, we know Sammy [Watkins] quite well and how really good he is, so our guys respect that on the back end,” Spags said. “The other thing I know about this Baltimore crew is it’s a gritty crew. I came to learn that they play better in situations like this, you know, coming off Monday night, a tough loss and all of that, first home game. Fans will be in there, so we’re expecting a pretty tough go at it.”
Head coach Andy Reid spoke similarly of the Lamar Jackson-led offense.
“Well, they’re well-coached and they’ve got good players, so it’s always a knock-down, drag-out fight there. They’re tough,” Reid said. “That’s the way they practice, that’s the way they go about their business, so we’ve got to make sure that we prepare ourselves right for it. Every play is an honest down when you play them.”
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