The Baltimore Ravens are getting the luxury of the bye week, which means a chance to rest for a lot of the players who were banged up over the recent weeks. For some players, like Kyle Hamilton, have already seen them return to the practice field, an indication that he is ready to go this weekend.
However, for others, there are still plenty of questions when it comes to their health status on game week. Which players need to be monitored the most?
Fans of the Baltimore Ravens have to look into the status of Zay Flowers this week. Flowers is playing some of his best football, but he also left the Miami Dolphins game with a calf injury. It was not mentioned much because it was a meaningless week 18 game, but Flowers did not practice at all, was deemed doubtful on Friday, and was one of the seven inactive during the game.
Flowers also did not practice through the bye week. That is not a major concern as well when you consider they were not in a game week, but this is a rookie who has not been able to get in any practice over two weeks due to a calf injury. Is this injury a little worse than he and the team are letting on?
You know that the Ravens would love to have a young player who is still finding his role in the offense get the practice time this week. If the Ravens do not have Flowers, the room gets a lot thinner and a lot less creative overall. If the rookie is not practicing early in the week, it is a bad sign. He is not prepared enough to miss three straight weeks of practice and then make an impact on game day.
3. Could Mark Andrews return this weekend for the Baltimore Ravens?
One of the most notable moves of the day was the Baltimore Ravens opening the practice window for Mark Andrews. That is a three-week window, and if they do not activate him within 21 days of Friday, then he will be out of the year. So, it is a free roll to do it.
The AFC Championship is just over two weeks away, so the Ravens could be on their way to the Super Bowl and then decide whether or not they want to activate Andrews. They could also activate him on Saturday evening before the game. That is the draw of opening the window right now. For the next two games, it will at least linger before a final decision is made before the Super Bowl.
So, this will be major to watch. The odds of him playing are low as of now, but John Harbaugh has remained suspiciously optimistic about his return, so it will be worth watching. His practice participation on Friday may be a guide into how realistic it is that he plays in the AFC Championship.
2. Will the Baltimore Ravens have an effective Marlon Humphrey?
Marlon Humphrey is starting to miss enough time that it is becoming concerning. Humphrey was injured against the San Francisco 49ers and missed the final two games of the season. Baltimore blew out Miami, and week 18 was meaningless, so the loss of Humphrey has flown under the radar, but it is about to be a spotlight moment if he is not out there this week.
Humphrey has been up and down all year as he has tried to maintain his health to no effect. He has missed the entire bye week of practice, although, unlike Zay Flowers, at his veteran status, that is not quite as concerning. However, with his injury it is arguably more concerning than Flowers this past week.
The Ravens have plenty of decisions to make if Humphrey does not suit up. Does Ronald Darby or Rock Ya-Sin start? Does that impact their decision to play Kyle Hamilton, PePe Williams, or Arthur Maulet in the slot? With Humphrey, you have a better run defender on one side; with Darby, you lose that.
The status of Humphrey throughout the week will be one of the biggest notes to follow.
1. Was the Odafe Oweh more serious than the Baltimore Ravens are saying?
The Baltimore Ravens need Odafe Oweh to complete a trio of talented rushers. When Oweh joins Kyle Van Noy and Jadeveon Clowney, they have a starting rotation, but when one of them is off, it limits what this pass rush can do.
Oweh was hot in the middle of the year but cooled off late. Perhaps that is why he was playing in a week when he re-injured an ankle that caused him to miss four games starting back in week two. It took Oweh some time to get ramped back up after his previous injury, so it makes sense that the Ravens would be cautious. However, it is concerning that this came just last week, as it likely is going to take multiple weeks until he is right. If Oweh is back in full this week, the issue is minor, and the team is being cautious. If he misses time this week, they had a costly week 18 injury.