Ravens receiver Sammy Watkins and full-back Chris Westry were placed on the Sub / COVID-19 roster on Saturday and will miss Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers, the final blows on a team reeling from injuries and the coronavirus.
Watkins, who was added to the reserve list on Saturday night, is the fourth-highest yards player on the team (394). He has been one of the most successful on the team this season, having achieved decisive results in recent comebacks over the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. Watkins, who played 10 games this year, is an estimated full-fledged player on Friday’s flank after a knee injury knocked him out in Sunday’s defeat to the Cleveland Browns.
Due to the fact that defender Tyler Huntley was supposed to start on Sunday for the sick Lamar Jackson (sprained ankle), the passing attack of the Ravens entered the weekend unstable. Coordinator Greg Roman will now have to rely more on rookie successor Rashod Bateman, who has a career-record seven catches and 103 yards at Cleveland. Miles Boykin, who hasn’t played since week 10 due to a toe injury, was a full-fledged participant in Thursday and Friday training and could also see the shots as an external receiver.
Westry, who was kicked out Saturday afternoon, has started two games this season and was expected to play Anthony Averett as the team’s top outside corner-backs on Sunday. Starting quarterback Chuck Clark, who was added to the reserve / COVID-19 roster on Thursday, will also be removed. The Ravens no longer had starting defenders Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, and starting defender DeShawn Elliot, due to late-season injuries.
The new absence undermines the Ravens ‘secondary role, which should include quarterback Aaron Rogers, wide receiver Davante Adams, and the Packers’ powerful passing attack. Along with Averett and corner starter Tavon Young, the Ravens will have reserves Jimmy Smith and Kewon Seymour as well as team Robert Jackson’s training challenge in the full-back rotation. They’ll have starter Brandon Stevens safe; reserves Geno Stone and Anthony Levine Sr.; and the addition of a new training squad, Tony Jefferson, a former Baltimore starter who was called up on Saturday.
According to Football Outsiders, only Averett, Young and Stevens have started this season with the leading AFC North Ravens, who lost two games in a row and advanced in week 15, finishing 26th in the NFL for passing defense. Meanwhile, Green Bay has the second highest scoring run in the league.
Offensively, the Ravens have promoted three training linemen – tackles by Jared Jones-Smith and David Sharp and center Adam Redmond – to help them take the lead. Left-back Ben Powers has already been eliminated from Sunday’s game with a leg injury. Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva (knee) and right tackle Tyr Phillips (illness) missed training on Thursday and Friday, while right tackle Patrick Mecari (arm) was restricted all week due to an arm injury.
Ravens will also not have Special Team Coach T.J. Weist, who has tested positive for COVID-19, and will not train against the Packers. Special teams coach Randy Brown will replace Weist on Sunday and will work alongside Special Team Coordinator Chris Horton.
Like Clark, Tristan Colon Reserve also remains on the list of reserves / COVID-19. As the NFL streamlined its back-to-play protocols this week amid league-wide outbreaks, some designated players were eligible for activation with negative tests.