Tuesday, January 26, 2021

INTELLIGENT CONVERSATION

Campbell, Mekari, Skura become latest Ravens added to reserve-COVID-19 list

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

Hours after the Thanksgiving night showdown with Pittsburgh was rescheduled for Sunday afternoon, the Ravens officially placed three more players on the reserve-COVID-19 list on Wednesday.

Defensive end Calais Campbell and offensive linemen Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura joined a group that already included running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins, defensive tackle Brandon Williams, outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, and third-string quarterback Trace McSorley.

On Wednesday evening, the organization announced the discipline of a staff member for “conduct surrounding the recent COVID-19 cases that have affected players and staff at the Ravens.” According to an NFL Network report, a strength and conditioning coach hadn’t reported symptoms or consistently worn a mask or tracking device, which may have led to the spread to players and other staff members.

The Ravens haven’t confirmed whether Campbell, Mekari, and Skura tested positive for the virus or were deemed “high-risk” close contacts. On Monday, head coach John Harbaugh confirmed Williams as a “high-risk” close contact, meaning he could conceivably return to play against the Steelers on Sunday if he continues to test negative and doesn’t show any symptoms. However, his availability was already in question after he missed last Sunday’s loss to Tennessee with an ankle injury sustained against New England the previous week.

Campbell’s status was already in doubt after he was listed as a non-participant on Monday and Tuesday with the left calf injury that’s sidelined him since Nov. 8, but the absences of Mekari and Skura would put an already undermanned offensive line in even worse shape. Mekari started at center against the Titans while Skura, the previous starting center, also played nine snaps as an extra offensive lineman in heavier formations.

The loss of the top two centers on the depth chart could prompt Baltimore to move left guard Bradley Bozeman to center, the position he played at the collegiate level for the University of Alabama. The other option at center would be undrafted rookie Trystan Colon-Castillo, who has yet to appear in an NFL game.

With their training facility still closed due to the ongoing outbreak, the Ravens didn’t practice and again released an estimated injury report on Wednesday. Cornerback Jimmy Smith (ankle) and defensive end Derek Wolfe (illness) were again listed as non-participants.

Meanwhile, the Steelers were without backup running backs Trey Edmunds (hamstring) and Jaylen Samuels (quadriceps) while starting cornerback Joe Haden (knee) returned to practice on a limited basis.

In other roster news, the Ravens claimed offensive tackle Jake Rodgers off waivers from Denver. The 29-year-old spent time on Baltimore’s practice squad in 2018 and appeared in 19 games for the Broncos over the last two seasons. Due to virus testing protocols, Rodgers wouldn’t be eligible to play against the Steelers on Sunday.

The NFL released the first Pro Bowl voting update with cornerback Marlon Humphrey and special teams player Chris Board leading the AFC voting at their respective positions.

Below is Wednesday’s official injury report:

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: CB Jimmy Smith (ankle), DE Derek Wolfe (illness)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: TE Mark Andrews (thigh), OLB Matthew Judon (ankle), G Tyre Phillips (ankle)

PITTSBURGH
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: RB Trey Edmunds (hamstring), RB Jaylen Samuels (quadriceps)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: CB Joe Haden (knee)
FULL PARTICIPATION: LB Jayrone Elliott (illness), DT Cameron Heyward (non-injury/ankle), QB Ben Roethlisberger (non-injury/quadriceps), WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (foot)

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