BALTIMORE — Unveiling a revamped offense under new coordinator Todd Monken in Sunday’s season opener, the Ravens had to do it without three-time Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews.
Despite practicing on a limited basis all week and head coach John Harbaugh previously downplaying concerns about his status leading up to Week 1, Andrews was deactivated as he continues to work his way back to full strength from a quadriceps injury. The 28-year-old sat out the final two weeks of summer practice, but it’s unknown exactly when the injury occurred as his last on-field work of the preseason took place during pregame warmups of the Aug. 21 game at Washington, a contest in which Andrews and most starters didn’t play.
Having missed only five games over his first five NFL seasons, Andrews was noncommittal when asked about his availability for the opener earlier this week. He was on the field at the conclusion of Friday’s practice, but it’s unclear how much he was able to do over the course of the week. Andrews didn’t complete any on-field work Sunday morning prior to the inactive list being released.
“I’m feeling good. I’ve obviously taken some time off kind of slowly working back in,” Andrews said Thursday. “It’s one of those things that’s been a little tricky, but I’m feeling better running around. It’s just day by day getting better, and we’ll see what happens.”
Second-year tight end Isaiah Likely was expected to start in Andrews’ place with fellow 2022 fourth-round pick Charlie Kolar backing him up.
Andrews joined cornerback Marlon Humphrey as multi-time Pro Bowl selections to sit out Baltimore’s season opener. Humphrey hasn’t practiced since undergoing foot surgery on Aug. 16 and was officially ruled out on Friday.
Cornerbacks Jalyn Armour-Davis and Arthur Maulet were healthy scratches, which left the Ravens with Brandon Stephens, Ronald Darby, Rock Ya-Sin, Ar’Darius Washington, Kevon Seymour, and Daryl Worley as available options at the cornerback or nickel spots. Of course, starting safety Kyle Hamilton can also play the nickel spot if necessary after that was his prominent position last year.
During pregame warmups, Stephens and Darby were lining up as the starting outside corners with Washington expected to play nickel back after his strong summer practicing there.
After much discussion about the backup quarterback competition over the summer, Josh Johnson was active as the primary backup to Lamar Jackson while Tyler Huntley was deactivated to serve as the emergency third quarterback.
Worley and center Sam Mustipher were both active after being elevated from the practice squad on Saturday. Worley was practicing to play a regular role on special teams throughout the week while Mustipher received the call to be the primary backup behind starter Tyler Linderbaum.
Houston ruled out starting safety Jimmie Ward (hip), wide receiver John Metchie (hamstring), and linebacker Blake Cashman (hamstring) on Friday.
Below were the inactives for Sunday’s opener:
TE Mark Andrews
CB Marlon Humphrey
QB Tyler Huntley
CB Jalyn Armour-Davis
CB Arthur Maulet
G Ben Cleveland
G Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu
S Jimmie Ward
WR John Metchie
QB Case Keenum
CB Alex Austin
RB Dare Ogunbowale
LB Blake Cashman