James Proche

Ravens Activate Marquise Brown From Reserve/COVID-19 List

Half the Ravens’ receiving corps missed practice this week, but the team will have its full crew of wideouts available against the Jaguars on Sunday.

The Ravens activated Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin and James Proche from their reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday. None of the three tested positive for the coronavirus, but each were high-risk close contacts and were forced to isolate for five days.

This marks more good news for a Ravens team set to play on Sunday for the first time in three weeks. Virus issues led to the Ravens playing Wednesday and Tuesday games in Weeks 12 and 13, respectively, prior to their action-packed triumph in Cleveland on Monday.

Brown has set a new career high in receiving yards (605) this season, but the second-year wideout and Lamar Jackson have struggled to stay on the same page. Drops have also been an issue for Baltimore’s top receiver. Still, Brown has managed to score touchdowns in each of the Ravens’ past three games. He will be a key part of the team’s final push for a playoff spot.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/16/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

  • Placed on IR: S Saquan Hamilton

Philadelphia Eagles

AFC North Notes: Bengals, Wilson, Ravens

After leaving for Los Angeles to care for his coronavirus-stricken son, John Ross has returned to the Bengals. The fourth-year wide receiver, however, has landed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (video link). Ross’ son and the baby’s mother tested positive for COVID-19. Pending no positive virus tests, Ross can return to action as soon as Saturday.

Moving first to a Browns injury situation, here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • Browns linebacker Mack Wilson is awaiting word on the severity of a knee injury he suffered in practice recently. The Cleveland starter is expected to miss several weeks because of a knee hyperextension, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link). No tear is believed to have occurred, per Rapoport, but surgery appears to still be on the table. That would put Wilson’s season in jeopardy. With the Browns having disbanded their veteran linebacking corps over the past year and change, Wilson is now the team’s longest-tenured starter at that position. The 2019 fifth-round pick made 14 starts as a rookie.
  • Bengals safety Shawn Williams has also run into injury trouble. The eighth-year defender was carted off during a recent practice with a calf ailment. Williams has sought a second opinion, and NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero writes optimism exists the longtime starter can return in time for the Bengals’ Week 1 game (Twitter link). Williams has been a starter for the past four seasons, but the Bengals signing former Saints starter Vonn Bell could potentially cloud Williams’ role.
  • Nine months after tearing his ACL, PCL and MCL and dislocating his kneecap, Matt Skura returned to practice. The Ravens‘ first-string center passed his physical and was back in time for the team’s first padded practice, the team announced. Skura’s return, in a contract year, would be key for a Ravens team that saw potential Hall of Fame guard Marshal Yanda retire after 13 seasons.
  • It appears the Ravens will put their sixth-round pick to work quickly. Wide receiver James Proche is on track to be the team’s punt returner, but Baltimore special teams coordinator Chris Horton said (via The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec, on Twitter) the SMU product is a candidate to return kicks as well. The Ravens recently signed veteran return man Kenjon Barner, so Proche still being in contention for the kick-return role is interesting.

Ravens Sign Three NFL Draft Picks

The Ravens are working fast to get their 2020 NFL Draft class under contract. One day after inking fifth-round pick Broderick Washington, they’ve signed third-round defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, fourth-round guard Ben Bredeson, and sixth-round wide receiver James Proche. 

[RELATED: Ravens Discussing Extensions With Matthew Judon, Ron Stanley]

Madubuike, who stands at 6’3″ weighs in at 304 pounds, led the Aggies with 11.5 tackles for loss last year, plus 5.5 sacks and seven quarterback hurries. He also recorded his first interception in a win over Arkansas.

He doesn’t have ideal size for the interior line, but he does have better-than-average speed for the position, plus solid moves to shed blocks. Evaluators also see pass rushing potential in Madubuike, thanks in part to his larger-than-expected wingspan.

The Ravens’ 3-4 scheme will feature defensive tackle Derek Wolfe, nose tackle Brandon Williams, and veteran defensive end Calais Campbell up front. Madubuike figures to see time as well, but he’ll be eased into things as a rookie. Ditto for Bredeson, though he’ll also be behind third-round lineman Tyre Phillips, who will be moved from the outside to the interior.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.