Ravens’ John Harbaugh defends team’s banned drop kick; center Matt Skura (knee) expected to play Sunday
By Daniel Oyefusi
Oct 04, 2019 | 3:16 PM
Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after Sunday’s 40-25 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the team was in full contact with the NFL regarding its drop kick attempt against the Kansas City Chiefs, which the league later ruled was illegal.
“We were in contact with the league officiating office all the way through,” Harbaugh said Friday. “We didn’t just pull it out and decide to try it and sneak it past them.”
The failed attempt, which occurred during the fourth quarter of the team’s Week 3 loss to the Chiefs, was deemed illegal because kicker Justin Tucker failed to kick the ball as it hit the ground.
The drop kick that the Ravens used against the Chiefs is illegal. The NFL looked at it and they said that it's not a drop kick. What Baltimore did is not considered a drop kick because you have to kick it simultaneously as it hits the ground.
“A drop kick is defined the way it’s defined,” Harbaugh said. "We talked to them. We explained exactly what we were doing and how it was going to go, and they said it was legal, we could do it. We talked to the officials before the game. They called the league office again. They had been in contact with the league office, the officiating office, and they said it was legal.
"Probably, the competition committee decided they didn’t want to see it, someone on the competition committee — probably the chairman [Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay] — decided with [senior vice president of officiating] Alberto [Riveron] he didn’t want to see it. So now, it’s not legal. So, that’s pretty much how it works and how it worked in this case.”
Skura, Williams and Jones questionable for Sunday
Harbaugh said center Matt Skura is expected to play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, despite missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday with a knee injury.
Skura, along with defensive tackle Brandon Williams (knee) and cornerback/punt returner Cyrus Jones (foot), are listed as questionable.
“He had something happen in practice," Harbaugh said of Skura’s injury. “I think he has a real good chance to play. [I’m] very encouraged, so we’ll just have to see. If not, we’ll go with the guys we have."
If Skura is unable to play, the team could start reserve lineman Patrick Mekari in his place, or slide over left guard Bradley Bozeman, who started two years at center in college.
“In the NFL, everybody plays every position,” Bozeman said. “That’s kind of where you get your value, being versatile. No matter what happens, we have guys who can fill those roles. Hopefully [Skura] can do it. Whatever [Harbaugh] says, that’s pretty much how it goes. It’s always a good opportunity to showcase what you can do.
“The schemes are pretty similar,” Fort said. “The biggest part is the language. So I just have to learn a different language as soon as I can and run with that. ... Special teams is mainly just hustle and want-to and I think I have that.”