The Ravens returned to the practice field Wednesday missing two key starters as they prepare for Sunday’s pivotal divisional game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Cornerback Marlon Humphrey did not practice because of an illness, while running back Mark Ingram II sat out because of an ankle injury. Ingram injured his ankle in the team’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 18.
This season, as a result of COVID-19 protocols, more players are being held out of practice as a precautionary measure if they are flagged for any COVID-19 symptoms. Quarterback Lamar Jackson was held out of practice because of this three weeks ago and defensive end Derek Wolfe was held out of the team’s Week 4 game against the Washington Football Team after being flagged for symptoms. Neither Jackson nor Wolfe tested positive for COVID-19. Players must be added to the reserve/COVID-19 list if they test positive or have been exposed to an infected person.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said last Monday that Ingram, who is second on the team with 225 rushing yards, is dealing with an ankle sprain and “he probably will be back for the Steelers game, but we’ll have to see.”
Backup quarterback Robert Griffin III and defensive end Calais Campbell also did not practice Wednesday for non-injury related reasons.
Eleven Steelers did not practice Wednesday: defensive backs Jordan Dangerfield (quadriceps) and Mike Hilton (shoulder); offensive linemen David DeCastro (not injury-related), center Maurkice Pouncey (elbow) and Alejandro Villanueva (elbow); tight end Eric Ebron (elbow); wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and Diontae Johnson (toe), quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (not injury-related); and defensive linemen Stephon Tuitt (not injury-related) and Chris Wormley (knee).
Fullback Derek Watt (hamstring) was a full participant.
Ex-Terps coach leaving his mark in Pittsburgh
After one year out of the business, former Maryland football assistant Matt Canada is back in the coaching ranks, serving as quarterbacks coach with the Steelers.
Canada, who worked as offensive coordinator and was promoted to interim coach for the Terps during the 2019 season after DJ Durkin was fired, is renowned for his use of presnap shifts and jet motion schemes. Heading into Week 8, the Steelers are running 21.4% of their plays with motion at the time of the snap, the fourth-highest rate in the league (The Ravens are first at 37.7%).
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on Wednesday said that he became familiar with Canada while he served as the offensive coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh during the 2016 season.
“I just thought he added a different eye, if you will, to our process,” Tomlin said on a conference call. "We take a collective to approach to game-plan formation and little trinkets and things of that nature and he just brings a different perspective. Oftentimes when given an opportunity to add an assistant, I’ll add someone from the college ranks because of that fresh perspective on the game that they bring, not only on offense but on defense as well.”