Under ordinary circumstances, the Pittsburgh Steelers would be gearing up to face the Baltimore Ravens this week in a pivotal divisional showdown. Instead, the Ravens are heading into their bye week and the Steelers are preparing to face their scheduled week-four opponents, the Tennessee Titans.
As a consequence of that, the Ravens get an extra week of rest and preparation ahead of that important game than they otherwise would not have had. And that may be just enough time for them to get Mark Ingram back up and running after the Pro Bowl running back suffered an ankle sprain in the team’s win on Sunday over the Philadelphia Eagles.
According to Tom Pelissero, Ingram’s MRI showed a “mid- to high-ankle sprain that isn’t considered severe”, and that he will “probably” be back in time for the Steelers’ game on November 1. Would he be ready to face the Steelers this Sunday? Perhaps not.
And that’s not ‘fair’, but fairness is not really the point in this situation, as I’m sure we’re all familiar with. The Steelers were inconvenienced by the changes forced upon them as a result of the Titans allowing a Covid-19 outbreak to spread in their facilities. But they still have every opportunity in the world to achieve victory in this game, so they certainly cannot look to blame a potential loss on the circumstances.
So far this season, Ingram has only recorded 50 rushing attempts in six games, but he has put up 225 yards with two touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Last season, his first with the Ravens, he rushed for 1018 yards on 202 carries with 10 rushing touchdowns. He also had five receiving touchdowns and was named to the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career.
Baltimore set an NFL record for rushing yards in a single season last year. They are not quite on that same pace this year, but they still rank third in the league in rushing yards with 986, and first at 5.4 yards per carry, with seven rushing touchdowns.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson, as he did a year ago, leads the team in rushing with 346 yards on 50 attempts, with two touchdowns, averaging 6.9 yards per attempt. Of course, he set a record for 1206 yards as a quarterback last season, leading the league in yards per attempt on the year at 6.9.
Gus Edwards has 218 yards and a touchdown on 48 runs so far this year, and rookie J.K. Dobbins, a second-round pick, has 154 rushing yards and two scores on 25 carries. He also has 74 receiving yards on 11 receptions.