For now, the Thursday night game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens is still scheduled to be played on the heels of the latter having several within their organization test positive for COVID-19. Assuming that game does ultimately take place Thursday night at Heinz Field, the Ravens top two running backs, rookie J.K. Dobbins and veteran Mark Ingram, won’t participate in it after reportedly testing positive for the virus.
According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network on Monday, Dobbins and Ingram will be placed on the Ravens Reserve/COVID-19 list later Monday and thus both will be ineligible to play on Thursday against the Steelers. This means that running back Gus Edwards is now scheduled to be the Ravens starter Thursday night in Pittsburgh.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin sang the praises of Dobbins during his Monday press conference to discuss the upcoming game against the Ravens.
“I think the most significant one is the evolution of J.K. Dobbins in terms of their division of labor, Tomlin said about the Ravens latest developments since the two teams played a few weeks ago. “It’s obvious that he is their featured runner now. There are some things to combat in regards to that. His run style is a little bit different than [Mark] Ingram. He has more of a perimeter game, at least in terms of their use of him. He’s got some breakaway speed that needs to be contended with. He had a significant game against us last time. It’s appropriate that we respond and work to minimize his impact on the game.”
In the Steelers Week 8 win against the Ravens in Baltimore, Dobbins, a rookie out of Ohio State, rushed for 113 yards on 15 total carries. He also caught one pass for 8 yards in that contest. Ingram missed that game with an injury and Edwards filled in for him and finished with 87 yards and a touchdown on his 16 carries.
Edwards might be a backup, but he has played plenty for the Ravens so far in his NFL career. In fact, Edwards started against the Steelers in Week 17 last season and rushed for 130 yards on his 21 carries.
With Dobbins and Ingram out for Thursday night, running back Justice Hill will likely dress and the Ravens might need to elevate rookie running back Ty’Son Williams from their practice squad for that contest as well.
It will now be interesting to see if the Ravens have any close contact players that need to quarantine. Any player that is a close contact player will ultimately miss the game against the Steelers as well.
UPDATE: Ravens head coach John Harbaugh just said that nose tackle Brandon Williams will also be going on COVID-19/Reserve list along with Dobbins and Ingram.