While Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey announced that he tested positive for Covid-19, which means that he will have to sit out the team’s next game, he is not the only player whom they placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 list, and that could potentially be significant.
After doing contact tracing, the team placed a total of seven additional players on the reserve list, and while the others deemed to be close contacts should be able to play on Sunday provided that they don’t test positive, they will not be able to practice in-person this week, and that could be an issue.
That list includes some significant names, such as starters Matthew Judon, Patrick Queen, DeShon Elliott, and L.J. Fort, in addition to Malik Harrison and Tyus Bowser. Defensive back Terrell Bonds was also placed on the list.
Because of the ‘intensive protocols’ the Ravens must now work under because of the positive diagnosis, Humphrey is required to be away from the team for at least 10 days (and of course he will have to test negative multiple times before he can return).
Players who are close contacts with a player who tested positive must enter a five-day window in which they cannot participate in-person, which wipes out the week of practice for the seven players named above as they prepare for a road game against the 5-2 Indianapolis Colts.
To sum things up, the Ravens will be practicing this week without about half of their defensive starters (Humphrey, Judon, Queen, Elliott, and to a lesser extent, Fort, who is a rotational starter) in addition to two other core rotational contributors (Bowser, Harrison). Bonds, who was on the practice squad, was called up to participate in Sunday’s game and played 17 snaps.
With Humphrey not available for Sunday’s game, Baltimore will be very thin at the cornerback position behind Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith as the starters, having already previously placed three cornerbacks on injured reserve in Tavon Young, Iman Marshall, and Anthony Averett. Khalil Dorsey and versatile defensive back Anthony Levine would be the only other candidates to play barring another practice squad call-up, and Levine is already the top backup safety.
Obviously from a Steelers-centric point of view, it would be wonderful for the Ravens to be handed another loss. At the moment, they have only been defeated by two teams with a combined one loss on the season between them, so any loss they can be dealt can’t be taken for granted.
The eventual result of the game could be beneficial for the Steelers one way or the other, however, as the Colts have a strong record right now and could potentially be battling Pittsburgh for seeding in the playoffs by the time things are all said and done. Either way, one of these teams will have three losses.