Ravens Receive All-Pro Reinforcements With Return of Mark Andrews

Ravens TE Mark Andrews during training camp.

Getty Ravens TE Mark Andrews during training camp.

When Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews went down with a serious injury during their Week 11 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals a sense of worry loomed over the Ravens’ season. However, one week before the Ravens play their first playoff game in the divisional round, they received some good news.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport posted on Friday, January 12, “Here we go: The #Ravens have designated star TE Mark Andrews for return. He’s back at practice.”

The Ravens later posted a video on X (formerly Twitter) of Andrews in pads and catching practices with the caption, “Mandrewzzzzz alert.”

Andrews has been out with a serious leg and ankle injury since the game against the Bengals when he was hip-drop tackled by Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson.

Head coach John Harbaugh said there would be a chance Andrews would be ready if the Ravens made it far enough into the playoffs. Securing the No. 1 seed and the bye allows Andrews another week to prepare for game action.

This is a welcome sight though for Ravens’ fans as there were reports that the injury would shut the All-Pro tight end down for the season.

The Ravens have not missed a beat since he went down but quarterback Lamar Jackson will be happy to have his favorite target back for the playoffs.

Coach Harbaugh Comments on Return of Mark Andrews

Harbaugh spoke to the media on Friday, January 12, saying, “We’re in that range you know. Today was the first day, did individual that was it. We kinda ran from there and get into next week and get a better idea.”

From what Harbaugh is saying it is not 100% that Andrews will play in the divisional round but today was good first step.

Andrews has stayed with the team through his recovery and according to Harbaugh, “Everyone is excited for Mark…. Their happy for Mark, you always want to see one of the brothers back out there doing their thing.”

The tight end has been a leader for this team since he was drafted by the Ravens in 2018, so having him return to the field could be just the right injection into the team.

Andrews has been the go-to target for all of Jackson’s career since they both came into the league in 2018. He is a three-time Pro Bowler and an All-Pro First Team.

Since he entered the league, he leads the Ravens with 381 receptions, 4,875 yards and 40 receiving touchdowns. In all three categories Andrews almost doubles the next closest Raven, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown.

Isaiah Likely Has Filled in Brilliantly for Mark Andrews

Luckily for the Ravens, second-year tight end Isaiah Likely stepped up with the injury to Andrews. In the six games since Andrews’ injury, Likely has 21 catches, 322 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns.

Andrews still leads the team in touchdowns scored with six in the 10 games he played. However, Likely is already tied for second most touchdowns on the team with rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers.

He has made highlight reel catches in multiple games and is developing into a dangerous weapon for this Ravens’ team. With Andrews return the Ravens will be able to run two tight end formations where opposing teams will need to account for both receiving threats.

Likely was taken in the fourth round during the 2022 draft and is looking like a top NFL tight end going forward. Andrews’ return will turn an already potent Ravens offense into an even more explosive unit.

Defenses will need to now contend with Andrews, Likely, Flowers, Odell Beckham Jr. and the Ravens top ranked rushing offense.

Opposing teams will be under pressure to figure out a way to stop Jackson and the offense or face the task of scoring on one of the best defenses in the league.

Read More