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Another wild week in the NFL has been highlighted (or low-lighted depending on how you view it) by the situation surrounding the matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. Originally scheduled for the main event slot on Thanksgiving evening, the AFC North clash was postponed three times due to Covid concerns in the Ravens’ facility. First pushed to Sunday afternoon and then Tuesday night, the game is now scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
The 3:40 p.m. ET kickoff was selected because NBC is committed to broadcasting the lighting of NYC”s Rockefeller Tree to a national audience in prime time. Since Baltimore triggered all of this schedule shuffling, we’ll start there as we take a look at some notable activations off of the reserve/Covid-19 list as we wrap up Week 12 and look ahead to Week 13.
RAVENS RUNNING BACKS
Mark Ingram and JK Dobbins were among the first of the Ravens to be placed on the list before the original Thursday slot last week. Since then, more than 20 Baltimore players were added to the list as fantasy owners across the country flocked to pick up Gus Edwards off the waiver wire.
The postponements have since allowed Ingram and Dobbins to test negative and be activated for the Wednesday game, dropping Edwards back down the depth chart. The Ravens will still be without Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews, Matthew Judon, and Willie Snead, to name a few.
Dobbins and Ingram have combined to rush for 612 yards and five touchdowns this season, but Jackson remains the team’s leading rusher.
The other candidate for the most fascinating development of Week 12 took place in Denver. After Jeff Driskel tested positive for the coronavirus, fellow QB’s Drew Lock, Brett Rypien, and Blake Bortles were all deemed high-risk contacts and had to sit out Sunday’s game against New Orleans.
The Broncos were forced to turn to practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton, who completed just one pass in the lopsided loss to the Saints.
Fortunately for Denver, Lock (the starter), Rypien and Bortles were all activated this week and should be available in Week 13 against the Chiefs. At the same time, Driskel continues to recover from the virus.
MYLES GARRETT, CLEVELAND BROWNS
Garrett was the NFL’s sack leader before missing the Browns’ last two games on the reserve/Covid-19 list. He has since been passed by Aaron Donald by a half a sack but will return to the field this week against the Titans.
The Browns will welcome back their star pass rusher, who also happens to be tied for the league-lead in forced fumbles, but will be without cornerback Denzel Ward and safety Ronnie Harrison. The latter injured his shoulder in the win over Jacksonville and is expected to miss between four and six weeks.
At 8-3, the Browns are currently the 5th seed in the AFC Playoff picture and would travel to Buffalo to face the Bills in the Wild Card round if the season ended today. The hope is that Harrison rejoins the defense by the time the postseason starts, should they hold on to that spot.