The Baltimore Ravens have been dealt some big losses over the course of the season. Their London loss was a big one—tied for the biggest ever in franchise history, based on point differential. They have some big losses sitting on injured reserve already, as well. Their latest loss, though a temporary one, is the biggest of them all.
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ biggest rival has already ruled out 340-pound nose tackle Brandon Williams for tomorrow’s game, which will mark the second straight game he will have missed for the Ravens. He had not missed a game between the 2014 and 2016 seasons, but is dealing with an injury now that could keep him out some time.
While Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said that Williams’ injury is “not going to be half the season or anything like that”, he did describe it as one that is “a matter of weeks from when he got hurt”, and that he will be crossing his fingers for the next week or two.
He will already miss two games, but it would not be surprising if he misses another week or two as he works his way back from a foot injury. And it should be pointed out that he will not be the only starting defensive lineman that Baltimore will have to move on without as they take on the Steelers Sunday.
As I wrote about earlier this week, Brent Urban, who moved into the starting lineup this year after the Ravens traded Timmy Jernigan, suffered a Lisfranc foot injury in Sunday’s game against the Jaguars. Later on in the week, the team ended up putting him on injured reserve.
That means Baltimore is going to have to begin relying upon players such as Bronson Kaufusi and Chris Wormley, a couple of third-round draft picks from the last two seasons, along with others such as Willie Henry and Carl Davis.
They actually already had eight defensive linemen on the roster, though they are now down to seven with Urban on injured reserve. The Ravens do have six healthy bodies along the line, which is more than enough—the Steelers only have six in total and dress five.
But outside of Michael Pierce, the second-year defensive tackle, none of them would make you really game plan to account for them. The Steelers’ ailing running game will gladly take on their front seven minus a pair of starters.
Still, even with the serious injuries, their defense is no joke, and that includes stout linebackers and a secondary that is more than willing to stick their noses into the fan in run support, particularly safety Tony Jefferson.
They will also be playing a proud defense who is coming off a highly embarrassing performance looking for redemption. And a defense that has held them to below 20 points in three straight seasons at the location of Sunday’s game.