Urschel had to jump into an uncomfortable situation at a position where he hasn’t accumulated many repetitions since training camp. His wayward snap on the last drive could easily have cost the Ravens their shot at a game-winning field goal.
Flacco went easy on him after the game, but Urschel will be the first to say he needs to be ready to play center when Jeremy Zuttah is hurt. He worked on the position relentlessly in the offseason, knowing he’ll be a more valuable commodity if he can slot in at either guard or center.
Harbaugh said Urschel at least blocked well.
But the offensive line, generally one of the most reliable units on the team, can’t be thrilled with a 2.9-yards-per-carry average against one of the league’s worst run defenses. Or with allowing a mediocre Chargers pass rush to pile up three sacks on Flacco.
Left tackle Eugene Monroe missed his 10th start in two seasons and has to be considered one of the team’s most disappointing signings in that time. James Hurst has been a capable fill-in at times, but he allowed Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram to race right around him for a sack on Sunday. It was hardly the first time he’s been overmatched by a speed rusher.
We’re used to taking the line for granted. But the version with Hurst at left tackle and Urschel at center is a dicier proposition.