Ravens outside linebacker Tyus Bowser was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, leaving his availability for Sunday’s crucial game against the Los Angeles Rams in doubt.
The Ravens’ top two pass rushers, Bowser (six sacks) and outside linebacker Justin Houston (4 ½ sacks), are now on the reserve/COVID-19 list. While rookie outside linebacker Odafe Oweh had two quarterback hits Sunday, no Ravens edge rusher recorded a sack in the team’s blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, who now have the inside track to an AFC North title.
Along with Bowser and Houston, quarterback Tyler Huntley, tight end Josh Oliver, defensive lineman Justin Madubuike, inside linebackers Chris Board and Kristian Welch and safety Geno Stone are on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Under the NFL’s new COVID-19 protocols, the standard isolation period after a positive test for asymptomatic individuals has been reduced from 10 days to five days, regardless of vaccination status. Fully vaccinated players who test positive can clear protocols sooner if they return two negative tests within one day and are asymptomatic.
Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale did get a potential starter back Tuesday with the activation of cornerback Chris Westry, who’s missed the past two games on the reserve/COVID-19 list. His return comes a day after cornerback Jimmy Smith returned to the active roster.
With cornerback Anthony Averett dealing with a ribs injury, their presence should bolster a defense that allowed a franchise-worst 525 passing yards Sunday to Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. The Rams, led by quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Cooper Kupp, have the NFL’s ninth-most efficient passing offense, according to Football Outsiders.
In other roster moves, the Ravens placed rookie defensive back Ar’Darius Washington (foot), who was already on season-ending injured reserve, on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Center James Murray was re-signed to the practice squad after being released over the weekend, and quarterback Kenji Bahar (Calvert Hall) and defensive back Blake Countess were released in a corresponding move. Bahar was signed and called up for Sunday’s game after Huntley was ruled out.