Ravens punter Sam Koch is not expected to be available for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals, coach John Harbaugh said Friday.
Koch was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, and the Ravens signed punter Johnny Townsend off the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad Thursday. Harbaugh declined to say whether Koch had tested positive for the coronavirus, but said he wouldn’t expect Koch to miss any time beyond Sunday.
Infected players must self-quarantine for at least 10 days while continuing daily testing. Players who are considered a “high-risk” close contact for COVID-19 are sidelined for least five days.
“I’m pretty sure he’s going to be out based on the day count,” said Harbaugh, whose team can clinch a playoff berth with a win in Cincinnati. “So that’s the way I’m looking at it right now. I’m just assuming he’s not going to be there.”
Koch has played in every Ravens game since the team drafted him in 2006, a franchise-record streak of 239 games. Earlier this season, he surpassed outside linebacker Terrell Suggs for the most games played in team history.
Townsend is also expected to replace Koch as the holder on the Ravens’ field-goal unit, Harbaugh said, and had a good day of practice Friday. Former special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg has called Koch “the greatest holder that has ever played the game,”
“It’s not hyperbole what Jerry says about Sam’s holding ability,” Harbaugh said. “So it’s a big deal, and obviously, the success just speaks for itself. But Johnny is a good holder. So we’ve seen him do it, up close. He did it again today. So we’re not worried about that part of it.”
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The Ravens have had another strong season on special teams, ranking just behind the New England Patriots in efficiency entering Week 17, according to Football Outsiders.