The Baltimore Ravens feel like they have a very deep group of offensive linemen, but in the past two weeks that depth has taken a considerable hit. With the preseason “dress rehearsal” happening in just two days when Baltimore takes on the Washington Redskins, it’s fair to wonder who and how well they will protect starting quarterback Joe Flacco.
As for those injuries, here’s the full list: Eugene Monroe, Kelichi Osemele, Rick Wagner, James Hurst, John Urschel, Jah Reid, Ryan Jensen, De’Ondre Wesley and Darryl Baldwin. Most of which still haven’t returned to practice. Baltimore Time’s Ravens reporter Turron Davenport provided an update on twitter a short while ago:
Not practicing for #Ravens Baldwin, Campana, Means, Monroe, Osemele, Perriman, Taliaferro, Webb, Wesley.
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) August 27, 2015
Which leaves just Marshal Yanda and Jeremy Zuttah as the healthy number ones, there are many teams in the league that would love to have Yanda blocking for their QB by the way. Their opponents have generated 27 hurries in two preseason games, with the first teams spending more time on the field this week, they could certainly be coming after Flacco and company. One positive for Baltimore is that no matter who gets healthy enough to join Yanda and Zuttah, Flacco does have enough mobility to evade pressure in the pocket and make plays with his feet.
It’s not just Flacco that is affected by the injuries up front, Justin Forsett and his fellow running backs rely on those guys to open holes for them. They must meet the challenge on Saturday as Washington’s rebuilt front seven has some big guys up front. Terrance Knighton, Stephen Paea, Jason Hatcher, Ricky Jean-Francois and a few more guys on that defensive line that are some pretty large human beings.
When watching Saturday’s game, pay some attention to the play in the trenches. Especially when Baltimore has the ball, how well will they protect their quarter back and how productive the run game will be? Only a couple more days to find out, but the bigger issue for Baltimore is that their starting lineup from left to right is healthy and ready to go for the real deal. Week 1 of the 2015 regular season.