The Ravens lost three starters to injuries Sunday, but coach John Harbaugh’s hopeful they won’t be out long.
Center Patrick Mekari left the win over the New York Giants early with a back injury, and wide receiver Willie Snead IV suffered an apparent ankle injury soon after. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue was sidelined by a second-half thigh injury.
“There’s nothing that’s a season-ender or anything like that,” Harbaugh said Monday. “It’s all going to just kind of come down to day to day and possibly game time [Sunday in Cincinnati] with some of those guys. Everybody’s in kind of a different spot. Same goes for the guys coming back off the injuries. They’re all right there. So it really, truly is just going to be a wait-and-see kind of a thing with everybody.”
The Bengals will be without running back Joe Mixon on Sunday after Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor ruled him out. Mixon, who leads the Bengals with 428 rushing yards, hasn’t played since suffering a foot injury in Week 6.
In a Week 5 loss in Baltimore, he was held to 59 yards on 24 carries, along with six catches for 35 yards.
The Ravens have waived rookie safety Geno Stone, the team announced Monday.
Stone was activated last week after spending nearly three weeks on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The Ravens were granted a one-week roster exemption, but with the team’s improving health and limited roster space, the seventh-round pick from Iowa was released for the second time.
Stone was waived and, after clearing waivers, signed to the practice squad in October. He appeared in two games last month, earning two defensive snaps and 38 on special teams. Stone was the last of the Ravens to test positive for the coronavirus during an outbreak that sent 23 players to the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Rookie wide receiver James Proche II didn’t exactly lose his punt return job Sunday. The Ravens just needed more help elsewhere.
With special teams ace Chris Moore healthy for Sunday’s game and wide receiver Devin Duvernay’s versatility as a returner, Proche was inactive for the first time this season. Harbaugh explained Monday that it was a “numbers crunch.”
“James has done a really good job back there with that and the other things he’s done, too,” Harbaugh said. “It’s just, you get to the point where you start getting healthier that you have to make some choices.”
In only his second game this season, Moore played 15 special teams snaps Sunday, fifth most on the team. Duvernay returned two kickoffs for 39 yards and his first two NFL punts for 36 yards. Proche has one catch for 14 yards this season and is averaging 8.6 yards per punt return, with no fumbles.
“It was a special teams decision there,” Harbaugh said. “Devin did a really good job. We have other guys who can do punt returns, too, in the depth. But sure, I think it gives us more confidence [in Duvernay]. You know, he’s been doing it at practice and we felt good about it, but to see him being able to do it in a game and conditions when the pressure’s on, that was a big plus.”