The Baltimore Ravens like many other teams are dealing with the spike of the omicron variant of COVID-19. The NFL has intensified the COVID-19 protocols recently to try and offset the spike.
Sticking to the protocol is critical for all teams. That’s especially the case for the Ravens who had an outbreak last season. The organization is doing everything it can to closely follow the new protocols.
“I don’t know the details of what protocol stands for what; I just go by what we’re told we have to do,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. “What we’re in right now is some sort of an intensive protocol on some level, but we’re not testing everybody daily. That’s not what we’re doing.
“We have to wear masks. We have to meet virtually for the next two days and wear masks for the next two days, and then I think they’re going to see where we’re at after that. So, we’re happy with that. We don’t have any problem doing that at all. We try to stay as safe as we can and see where we go from there.”
The list of players currently on the Reserve/COVID-19 list includes:
-C Trystan Colon- Castillo
-S Chuck Clark
-CB Chris Westry
-WR Sammy Watkins
-CB Jimmy Smith
-OLB Justin Houston
-OLB Pernell McPhee
Houston was placed on Reserve/COVID-19 earlier this week putting his playing status in jeopardy for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The veteran outside linebacker is fourth on the team with 4.5 sacks. Houston has been responsible for pressuring the quarterback as well.
Baltimore has some of their best defensive players on the list including Clark, Smith and Houston.
Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee was added to the list on Tuesday, December 21, 2021. McPhee was gearing up to make his return to the field after being placed on injured reserve last month. In a corresponding move, they signed veteran cornerback Daryl Worley.
“The COVID-19/Reserve list— it’s really going to be hard to say who is going to be back from that and when,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.
If Houston and McPhee aren’t available to play in Sunday, December 26, 2021, the Ravens will be very thin at outside linebacker. Only Tyus Bowser, Odafe Oweh and Jaylon Ferguson are listed as outside linebackers who will be available to play. The Ravens could have an option in Malik Harrison who has practiced at outside linebacker this week.
Sunday’s game against the Bengals is a key game in the fight for the AFC North title. The Ravens’ three-game losing streak has slid them into a tie with Cincinnati in the race for the top team in AFC North Division. Both teams have an 8-6 record.