Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Ravens rule out all Pro Pass catchers for Week 9 against Saints

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The Baltimore Ravens will head to wrap up Week 9 with an interconference matchup with the New Orleans Saints Monday night, but will do so without their top weapon in the passing game. For the first time in his five-year career, All-Pro tightend Mark Andrews will miss a game through injury after being downgraded from “doubtful” to “out” in the latest injury report, and will not travel with the team official announcement.

The two-time Pro Bowler sat out the entire week of practice with a knee and shoulder injury sustained in the last two games. Luckily, he’ll have some extra time to recover before the team’s next game, as the Ravens will be bye in Week 10 before hosting the Carolina Panthers in Week 11.

Leading the team in receptions (42), yards (488) and touchdowns (five), Andrews is quarterback Lamar Jackson’s most trusted target in the passing game whenever he’s on the field, regardless of down or distance.

Though unfortunate not to have him, the Ravens’ closet isn’t empty at the tight finishing position, and Andrews’ elimination opens the door for rookie Isaiah Likely to make his first career start. The fourth-rounder put on a stellar performance in Week 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he showed all the enticing promise he gleamed in preseason and training camp.

“It was great to see – great to see that he’s finally getting his chance and opportunity to do what he’s doing,” Jackson said in a news conference on November 3, 2022. “However, we’re going to need a lot more from him . So he just has to keep going.”

Another player ruled out for this week is second-year pro Rashod Bateman, who will miss the remainder of the season after opting to have Lisfranc foot surgery at the end of the season. He was the Ravens’ No. 1 wide receiver, and after losing him for the year, they have to rely on their other options at the position.

A pair of receivers willing to jump at the chance to step up to the plate are veterans DeSean Jackson and Demarcus Robinson. The Ravens added Jackson to the practice team in October and he is expected to be elevated this week and make his debut against the Saints in 2022.

“When I get the call[comma] sure I’ll be ready,” Jackson said in a news conference on November 3, 2022. “It’s not my decision, I’m just here to get ready day by day, get my shape and body in the best position to get out and be productive.

Even in his mid-30s, the former three-time Pro Bowler still has the lightning-fast speed to smash through opposing defenses and stretch them vertically. Bateman has been the Ravens’ biggest deep threat in the passing game this season with a team-leading average of 19 yards per catch. Jackson believes he can help offset some of the loss his absence causes in that aspect of the offense.

Robinson has been with the team since August and has appeared in every regular-season game so far, recording 15 receptions on 25 goals for 140 receiving yards and a touchdown. He’s come off his best game of the year so far, recording six receptions for 66 receiving yards, and looks to build on that in the future.

“I’m just trying to do what I did last game — stay in the mix and try to make a few games so I can help the team win,” Robinson told reporters on Nov. 2, 2022, per Chance, to touch the ball.”

He was a solid possession receiver with a deceptive ability to run after catches when thrown, while his chemistry with Lamar Jackson continues to grow.

“We’ve been working a lot over the past few weeks and I feel like it’s definitely progressing more strongly now than it was before,” Robinson said. “We’ll definitely try to continue that.”

Raven’s ILBs against Alvin Kamara

The five-time Pro Bowler is the Saints’ top running back and No. 2 wide receiver rolled into one and will be a handful for both Patrick Queen and newly acquired Roquan Smith in his first game as Raven. You’ll have your hands full keeping him in space every time he gets his hands on the ball, whether at, behind or beyond the line of scrimmage in a traditional handoff or reception. Smith could be the main person assigned to him when lining up as a receiver as he has a more natural feel and skill for the passing game.

Morgan Moses vs Saints Cameron Jordan

The Ravens will likely develop another run-heavy game plan, but this week they might just decide to hammer the rock from start to finish rather than flip the script at halftime like they did against the Buccaneers in Week 8. Although if they decide to choose After a passing game, the matchup between the two veterans who have strong seasons will be fun. Jordan is level on points with five sacks for his team’s lead and Moses is coming off his best game of the season in which he allowed just one press on 41 pass-blocking snaps and posted a 90.0+ grade as a run-blocker Focus on professional football.

Tyler Linderbaum vs. Damario Davis

In Week 8, the Ravens’ beginning rookie center had his best game of the year so far, advancing to the second tier and making multiple highlight blocks against Buccaneers’ Pro Bowl inside linebacker Devin White. He’ll have another chance to prove himself against one of the league’s best this week when he goes head-to-head with the Saints’ three-time All-Pro selection. Davis doesn’t lead his team in tackles, but he is the most complete inside linebacker and a particularly dangerous blitzer with five sacks and seven quarterback hits.

Marlon Humphrey vs. Chris Olave

The Saints also lost their No. 1 wide receiver to a season-ending injury last week as Michael Thomas will miss the rest of the year with a toe injury. While the two-time All-Pro is her most well-known player at the position, her most impressive and productive this year is her first-round rookie.

According to Pro Football Reference, Olave leads the Saints in goals (63), receptions (37) and reception yards (547). Because they field him both inside the slot and outside the perimeter, he’s likely to be assigned the Ravens All-Pro cornerback early and often, as he often bumps inside on the nickel point when opposing wide receiver offenses field sets of three or more and has another outstanding season.

Morgan Moses vs Saints Cameron Jordan

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