When quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Trace McSorley went down, the Ravens were ready to go with WR Willie Snead at quarterback against the Browns.
Ravens running back Mark Ingram II was on the field for just one snap in the team’s 47-42 win over the Cleveland Browns on Monday night. He took part in the offense’s first play from scrimmage, passing a handoff back to quarterback Lamar Jackson in what was ultimately a botched attempt at a flea-flicker.
For the rest of the game, Ingram watched from the sideline as fellow backs Gus Edwards and rookie J.K. Dobbins carried the workload in the backfield. It was the fewest snaps Ingram has played in a game in his career and the first time he finished a game without any carries.
Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Thursday that the lack of snaps for Ingram on Monday does not mean he will not be a part of the offensive game plan in the weeks to come.
“Mark’s an extremely valuable leader on our team. Just because he didn’t get a lot of snaps doesn’t mean he won’t get a lot of snaps,” Roman said on a video conference call. “He’s a very productive player in this league. At certain things he does, he’s right at the top of the league. So he’s very valuable to us.
“Things just unfolded the way they did. And it’s an opportunity for him to continue to stay fresh and get ready for a late-season push. As far as his attitude, he’s nothing but a professional. He’s a leader. He does that by example and with his words. So [I’m] very pleased with the opportunity to have Mark as a leader.”
In recent weeks, as Ingram has returned from an ankle injury that sidelined him for two games, and as Edwards and Dobbins have continued their efficient play, the offense has prioritized the two young backs in the pecking order over Ingram, who turns 31 on Dec. 21. Ingram has yet to eclipse six carries in a game since injuring his ankle in Week 6 against the Philadelphia Eagles and he hasn’t exceeded 17 snaps in a game since the injury.
“It might be more difficult for me sometimes as it is for them, but guys want to play,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday when asked about Ingram’s workload. “And I feel bad about that, because sometimes we get asked about that, and really, sometimes it’s not so much part of the plan; it’s just the way it goes. And it was going well, [Edwards and Dobbins] had kind of a hot hand, and you just kind of decide to stay with it. In our minds a little bit — not that we actually planned this out, but as the game goes on — it’s like, [let’s] stay with that, and if Mark gets more rest, which makes him better later, that might be better for us in the long run, too, and you just kind of get through the game, and you do it that way.
>> Roman said wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, who has struggled with drops in recent weeks, has an “easily correctable” issue. “I think it’s really simple,” Roman said. “It’s just basic fundamentals and focus through the catch. He’s got tremendous tracking skills, we saw that on the touchdown against the Cowboys. I think it’s just a great learning opportunity for a young player.” huge part of what we’re doing going down the stretch here, and I think he’s a real pro.”
>> Special teams coordinator Chris Horton said the team is comfortable if wide receiver/punt returner James Proche, who along with Brown and Miles Boykin are on the reserve/COVID-19 list, can’t play Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Brown and wide receivers Devin Duvernay and Willie Snead IV have also taken practice reps at punt returner this season. “Whoever we put back there, they’ll be ready to go,” Horton said.