OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens continue to test the limits of the mantra “next man up” early in the 2023 season.
A week after four starters sat out the 27-24 win in Cincinnati, Baltimore has ruled out a whopping seven starters for Sunday’s tilt with Indianapolis. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle), outside linebacker Odafe Oweh (ankle), and running back Justice Hill (foot) sustained injuries against the Bengals last Sunday and will join cornerback Marlon Humphrey (foot), safety Marcus Williams (pectoral), center Tyler Linderbaum (ankle), and left tackle Ronnie Stanley (knee) — who were all inactive last Sunday — on the sideline as the Ravens try to improve to 3-0 for the first time since 2016.
Ar’Darius Washington also landed on injured reserve this week after the slot cornerback sustained a chest injury that could sideline him for the remainder of the season. Of course, standout running back J.K. Dobbins suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the opener.
So, how troubled is head coach John Harbaugh about the injuries piling up so early?
“It becomes a concern if they’re going to be season-ending injuries. Those are the ones that you really hope to avoid — you pray to avoid. We’ve had two of those,” said Harbaugh before adding that Washington’s status isn’t final. “The rest of the guys are a few weeks, one week, two weeks. We thought we would have a couple of guys back this week; they’ll be working for next week. They’re right in that range, so that’s the good news. I feel good about it, and I feel good about the guys that are going to get an opportunity to play this week.”
Harbaugh confirmed one of those individuals will be practice-squad outside linebacker Jeremiah Moon, who will be making his NFL debut on Sunday. The Ravens are light on edge defenders with Oweh out this week and Tyus Bowser still on the non-football injury list.
With Gus Edwards being the only healthy running back on the 53-man roster, Baltimore will likely need to elevate two of the trio of Melvin Gordon, Kenyan Drake, and Owen Wright from the practice squad for Sunday’s game. Teams are permitted two elevations from the practice squad per week, meaning general manager Eric DeCosta may need to make a 53-man roster move to make sure the Ravens are covered adequately for Sunday’s game.
Indianapolis is also dealing with notable injuries with rookie starting quarterback Anthony Richardson and three-time Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly both in the concussion protocol and out for Sunday’s game. Veteran Gardner Minshew will start in Richardson’s place.
This will mark the second time the Ravens have faced Minshew in the regular season after he went 22-for-29 for 226 yards and two touchdowns in Jacksonville’s 40-14 loss in Baltimore in 2020. Last season, he served as the backup to Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia where Shane Steichen was the offensive coordinator before being hired as the Indianapolis head coach in February.
“He’s a challenging quarterback. In that system, he’s really established himself with coach Steichen in Philadelphia in terms of running that system well,” said Harbaugh about Minshew. “He did it for a long stretch last year. We’ve watched a lot of him. We understand his game, and we’ll have our hands full. We’ll have to be at our best to defend him.”
Two of the Colts’ top three cornerbacks — Dallis Flowers and Kenny Moore — were designated as questionable for Sunday’s game after being limited in practices this week. Five-time Pro Bowl left guard Quenton Nelson is also listed as questionable with a toe injury, but he was a full participant in Friday’s practice and played with the same injury last week.
Below is the final injury report for Week 3:
OUT: WR Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle), RB Justice Hill (foot), CB Marlon Humphrey (foot), C Tyler Linderbaum (ankle), OLB Odafe Oweh (ankle), OT Ronnie Stanley (knee), S Marcus Williams (pectoral)
OUT: C Ryan Kelly (concussion), QB Anthony Richardson (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Dallis Flowers (ankle), CB Kenny Moore (knee), G Quenton Nelson (toe)