Tuesday, January 26, 2021

INTELLIGENT CONVERSATION

Ravens running backs Ingram, Dobbins test positive for COVID-19

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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.

A bad day for the Ravens turned worse late Sunday night upon learning that “multiple members” of the organization had tested positive for COVID-19 from that morning’s round of testing.

That list includes running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins with Baltimore scheduled to play at Pittsburgh on Thursday night. Ingram and Dobbins were placed on the reserve-COVID-19 list on Monday and won’t be able to play against the Steelers.

Currently sidelined with an ankle injury, defensive tackle Brandon Williams was also deemed a “high risk” close contact and was placed on the COVID list, meaning he’ll have to isolate for five days and won’t be available for the Pittsburgh game. Williams missed the Week 6 win at Philadelphia after being placed on the COVID list due to close contact with a person who had tested positive.

For now, the NFL still plans for Thursday night’s game to go on as scheduled, according to head coach John Harbaugh.

In a statement released on Monday afternoon, the Ravens didn’t announce which individuals had tested positive, but they confirmed that the team’s Owings Mills facility was closed while contact tracing was being conducted. The team conducted meetings virtually before the facility was reopened for a late afternoon walk-through in which coaches and players wore masks.

From a football standpoint, the loss of Dobbins is an especially difficult development after the rookie second-round pick had seemingly seized control of the No. 1 running back job in Sunday’s 30-24 loss to Tennessee. In 41 snaps against the Titans, Dobbins carried the ball 15 times for 70 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 15 yards.

Ingram played sparingly on Sunday, finishing with two carries for two yards in just six snaps. The 2019 Pro Bowl selection rushed for 1,018 yards and scored 15 touchdowns in his first season with Baltimore, but he missed two games earlier this month with an ankle injury sustained in Week 6 and has averaged just 4.1 yards per carry in 2020.

Should Thursday’s game be played as scheduled, third-year running back Gus Edwards would presumably start with normal No. 4 back Justice Hill backing him up. Edwards tied a season low with just 13 snaps on Sunday, carrying the ball three times for six yards.

The Ravens also have undrafted rookie running back Ty’Son Williams on their practice squad.

In the Week 8 loss to Pittsburgh, the Ravens ran for a 2020-best 265 yards with Dobbins leading the way with 113 rushing yards and Edwards running for 87, which were both season highs.

In addition to Dobbins, Ingram, and Williams being placed on the reserve-COVID-19 list, the Ravens designated rookie guard Tyre Phillips to return from injured reserve, which meant he was able to begin practicing on Monday. Phillips hasn’t played since injuring his ankle in the Week 8 loss to the Steelers.

Baltimore also signed tight end Eric Tomlinson to its practice squad and is expected to sign former New York Jets cornerback Pierre Desir once he completes the virus testing protocol, according to an NFL Network report.

With the Ravens only conducting a walk-through and Pittsburgh not practicing, below is the estimated injury report for Monday:

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

PITTSBURGH
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DE Tyson Alualu (non-injury), G David DeCastro (non-injury), TE Eric Ebron (non-injury), RB Trey Edmunds (hamstring), LB Jayrone Elliott (illness), TE Zach Gentry (knee), CB Joe Haden (knee), DT Cameron Heyward (non-injury), C Maurkice Pouncey (non-injury), QB Ben Roethlisberger (non-injury), RB Jaylen Samuels (quadriceps), WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (foot), DE Stephon Tuitt (non-injury), OT Alejandro Villanueva (non-injury), LB Vince Williams (non-injury)

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