Mark Ingram

COVID-19 Latest: Ravens, Tuitt, Colts

Multiple standout defensive linemen will be back in action in Week 13, and although the Ravens still have several players on their reserve/COVID-19 list, their roster is no longer as depleted as it was Wednesday.

  • Baltimore’s coronavirus list still houses 10 players, including Lamar Jackson, but the team will have multiple starters back at practice soon. The Ravens activated Calais Campbell, Mark Ingram and defensive lineman Jihad Ward from their virus list. Ingram was eligible to play against the Steelers on Wednesday, but the Ravens held him out. A five-time Pro Bowler, Campbell has not played since Nov. 8 due to a calf strain.
  • The 11-0 Steelers will have Stephon Tuitt back in action when they face Washington on Monday. They activated the seventh-year starter from their reserve/COVID list. Three Steelers remain on the virus list, including starters James Conner and Maurkice Pouncey.
  • Pricey trade acquisition DeForest Buckner came off the Colts‘ virus list as well. Buckner landed on Indianapolis’ COVID list after testing positive for the virus in late November. The Colts, who allowed the Titans to rush for 229 yards in Buckner’s absence last week, also removed Jonathan Taylor from their virus list.
  • The Ravens announced Saturday that four strains of the coronavirus were present in their building. While the team believes it contained three of those strains, the fourth ended up spreading to the point it forced the NFL to postpone the team’s Steelers rematch three times. Ten straight days commenced with at least one Raven testing positive for the virus, and the team had as many as 23 players on its reserve/COVID list at the height of the outbreak. Four straight days, however, have passed without a Ravens positive test.

Latest On Ravens’ COVID-19 Situation

Despite being eligible to come off of the COVID-19 reserve list, Ravens running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins will not play today against the Steelers, according to NBC’s Michelle Tafoya (Twitter link via Andrew Perloff of The Dan Patrick Show). The Ravens will be well-set with Gus Edwards in the backfield, but they’ll still be severely shorthanded for their afternoon tilt. 

At least 12 Ravens players have tested positive for the coronavirus, including star quarterback Lamar Jackson. Safety Geno Stone was among the latest to test positive for COVID-19 — a troubling development since he was not previously categorized as a “high-risk close contact.”

As Jonas Shaffer of the Baltimore Sun notes, the Ravens will be conducting point-of-care tests prior to kickoff in order to screen any possible new cases. And, as Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (on Twitter), the NFLPA will be keeping a watchful eye on those results. The union is not opposed to the game being played today, but they may push back against the league if the spread continues.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ingram, Dobbins May Return Vs. Steelers

The Ravens’ roster has been decimated by a COVID-19 outbreak, but help may be on the way. Running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram will not fly with the team to Pittsburgh today, but the expectation is that they will fly tomorrow, in time to suit up for the Wednesday game against the Steelers (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). 

[RELATED: Ravens-Steelers Moved To Wednesday]

The league’s COVID protocols mandate a 10-day isolation period, and today marks Day 10. Had the game taken place on Thursday night as originally planned, or postponed to Sunday afternoon or Tuesday night (tonight), they would have been ineligible. The third — and, hopefully, final — postponement of the game has given them an opportunity to face the Steelers.

The Ravens running backs learned of their positive tests on Nov. 23. A number of Ravens players, including star quarterback Lamar Jackson, tested positive for the coronavirus in the days that followed. The Ravens are still working with a half-strength offense, but the presence of Ingram and Dobbins should help.

Before the positive, Dobbins registered 5.3 yards per carry for Baltimore. Ingram, meanwhile, is itching to get back on the field — he’s played in just eight games so far, thanks to an October injury.

No team placed a player on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, and Mark Maske of the Washington Post tweets the Ravens’ string of positive coronavirus tests stopped at eight. The thrice-rescheduled Ravens-Steelers rematch is a go for Wednesday afternoon. While this will not be finalized until the AFC North teams receive test results Wednesday, the Ravens are scheduled to fly to Pittsburgh at 7:15pm ET.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens’ Mark Ingram, J.K. Dobbins Test Positive For COVID-19

Ravens running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins have tested positive for COVID-19 (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo). They’ll both land on the reserve list today, leaving Gus Edwards as their primary back for Thursday night against the Steelers. 

Ingram has already missed significant time due to injury. Now, he’s out for at least an additional week until he clears the league’s coronavirus protocols. For Dobbins, the timing is especially unfortunate — he’s coming off of a strong showing against the Titans where he rushed for 70 yards off of just 15 carries, good for an average of 4.67 yards per tote.. All in all, the second-round pick out of Ohio State has averaged 5.3 yards per attempt as Ingram’s fill-in.

Edwards has also impressed in a shorter sample size, tallying 376 yards off of 85 carries (4.4 ypc) and three touchdowns. The 25-year-old Rutgers product has averaged 5.1 yards for the Ravens since turning pro — not too shabby for a backup RB.

The Ravens, sans two of their offensive stars, will look to stop a two-game slide on Thursday when they head to Pittsburgh.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: T. Brown, Garoppolo, Clowney

Let’s round up a few injury-related items from around the league.

  • Raiders OT Trent Brown is back on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says Brown is expected to miss at least a month of action (Twitter link).
  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports confirms a report from several days ago that 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo will not require surgery on his injured ankle, but the 29-year-old signal-caller is expected to miss at least a month (Twitter link). The injury further clouds Garoppolo’s uncertain future in San Francisco.
  • Titans edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney is out for today’s game against the Bears. He is dealing with a meniscus issue and may ultimately opt for surgery.
  • The Browns have a bye this week, and next time they’re on the field, they hope to be rejoined by Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb (Twitter link via Rapoport). Chubb has been dealing with an MCL injury, and though Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson have played reasonably well in his absence, getting Chubb back will be a big boost to Cleveland’s playoff push.
  • Some may be wondering if WR Odell Beckham has already played his last game for the Browns, as he will miss the rest of the season with an ACL tear and has never really embraced Cleveland. Kim Jones of WFAN reports that OBJ will undergo surgery to repair the ACL on Tuesday (Twitter link).
  • Ravens RB Mark Ingram left Baltimore’s game against the Eagles several weeks ago, and he still has not returned to action. Rapoport says Ingram is dealing with a high-ankle sprain (Twitter link), which explains the multi-week absence. Ingram has been ruled out for today’s game against the Colts, but younger backs Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins may be the better options anyway.
  • When the Eagles return to their facility following this week’s bye, they expect to have RB Miles Sanders back, and they believe WR Alshon Jeffery will be a full participant in practice (Twitter link via Rapoport).

AFC Notes: Ravens, Patriots, Rivers

After the Ravens added Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Mark Ingram believes his team officially has the best running game in the league.

“I like his mindset, I like his attitude, I like the way he run the ball. Just bring him and his talents to our room that’s already special; our backfield is gonna be the best in the league for sure,” Ingram told NFL Network’s Colleen Wolfe (via NFL.com’s Grant Gordon). “We’re all looking forward to it, being playmakers for the team and help us win the championship.”

Last season, Ingram and quarterback Lamar Jackson became just the second RB-QB duo to top 1,000 rushing yards in the same season (Warrick Dunn and Michael Vick did it with the Falcons in 2006). Gus Edwards also had a productive season in Baltimore, running for 711 yards and two scores. Even Justice Hill found the end zone twice as a rookie.

While the backfield may be a bit crowded, it doesn’t sound like Ingram is too concerned about carries. Rather, the veteran is focused on winning a championship, and he passed that mindset on to his rookie teammate.

“He reached out to me,” Ingram said. “Right after he got drafted, just shot me his number, said he was looking forward to getting to work. I told him let’s go get a ring.”

Let’s check out some more notes from around the AFC…

  • Sticking with Baltimore, Ravens GM Eric DeCosta told season ticket holders that the team doesn’t have a whole lot of salary cap flexibility (via The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec on Twitter). DeCosta noted that if the front office did open up space, they’d likely pursue a pass rusher/linebacker or a veteran offensive lineman.
  • Reports yesterday indicated that Tom Brady‘s “deteriorating relationship” with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was a big reason why the quarterback left New England. However, Brady vehemently denied those rumors via Instagram, asking reporters to “[p]lease be more responsible with reporting” (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com). McDaniels and Brady had been paired together for more than a decade, winning six Super Bowls along the way.
  • In 2019, Philip Rivers was playing behind a Chargers offensive line that ranked 29th in effectiveness, per Pro Football Focus. In Indy, he’ll be playing behind an offensive line that was ranked third by the same metric, and that’s a big reason why the veteran decided to join the Colts. “The big part of Philip being here is Anthony CastonzoQuenton Nelson,” said offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni (via NFL.com’s Nick Shook). Ryan KellyBraden SmithMark Glowinski. Those guys are studs…That’s something that he just kept mentioning after we signed him of how valuable those guys were to him.”

Ravens’ Mark Ingram II On His Future

Father Time isn’t always kind to running backs, but Mark Ingram isn’t planning on slowing down anytime soon. In a chat with reporters this week, the 30-year-old said that he plans on playing “at the highest level for another four or five years.” 

That’s how I feel, man,” Ingram said (via the team website). “I’m with a great team that takes care of me, and I feel like I can play this game at a high level – at the highest level – for at least another four or five years…My body feels good. I’m moving good. I have nothing really lagging. If I do, I’ll be working on it, rehabbing it, strengthening it up so all my weaknesses are turning into my strengths. I just want to be the best, man. I want to be one of the best. When you talk about running backs who had long, prestigious careers, I want to be in that discussion.”

Ingram – who is only “old” by NFL RB standards – delivered his third 1,000-yard season in 2019, paving the way for his third career Pro Bowl selection (he also came 36 yards shy of the four-digit mark in 2014). After averaging 4.5 yards per carry across eight seasons with the Saints, he took things to a new level in Lamar Jackson‘s offense, setting a new career high with 5.0 ypc. So far, his three-year, $15.5MM deal looks like a clear win for the Ravens.

Beyond the yards and touchdowns, Ingram also maintained his usual high standards when it comes to pass blocking. For a second straight year, he was one of Pro Football Focus’ top-ranked qualified tailbacks in the category. All things considered, we’d be surprised if the Ravens invested an early pick in the position, though they may use a middle or late-round choice to back Ingram, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mark Ingram Expected To Play In Divisional Round

After missing the first two Ravens practices this week, Mark Ingram worked out in a limited capacity Thursday. The Ravens expect their starting running back to play against the Titans on Saturday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

A calf strain sidelined Ingram in Week 16. He joined select Baltimore starters in sitting for Week 17 but was practicing during the team’s bye week. However, a setback during those workouts shelved the ninth-year veteran for much of this week’s practices.

Ingram returning certainly represents good news for the AFC’s top seed. The Ravens running back gained 1,018 yards in his age-30 season, joining Lamar Jackson in spearheading the team’s record-setting ground attack. Jackson, Ingram and Gus Edwards each surpassed 700 yards this season. It is not clear if Ingram will receive a full workload against the Titans, making Edwards a potentially bigger factor in the game plan.

The longtime Saints back signed a three-year, $15.5MM contract in March and rewarded the Ravens on their investment in Year 1 of the deal. Ingram played in 15 games, surpassed 100 rushing yards four times and scored a career-high 15 touchdowns. This 1,000-yard season (5.0 per carry) was Ingram’s third over the past four seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Ingram, 49ers, Thielen, Fuller

With every team booked into divisional-round action having now begun practice, here is the latest from the injury front going into Round 2. We’ll start with a midweek Vikings setback:

  • Stefon Diggs has missed two Vikings practices because of illness this week, but Mike Zimmer expects him to suit up in San Francisco. However, Adam Thielen suffered an ankle injury at practice and was limited on Wednesday as a result. Thielen was not on Minnesota’s Tuesday injury report. The Pro Bowl wideout missed much of this season with a hamstring injury. He caught seven passes for a game-high 129 yards against the Saints.
  • The NFL’s other purple-wearing team will likely go into its second-round game with backfield uncertainty. Previously expected to return for the Ravens‘ playoff opener, Mark Ingram has missed both Ravens practices this week. Ingram experienced a setback with his injured calf last week, leading to the Ravens to shut him down for a bit, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link). The Ravens are indicating there is a “realistic chance” Ingram plays. Baltimore backup Gus Edwards‘ 5.2 yards per carry ranked third in the NFL this season.
  • 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander has been cleared for game action, per Rapoport (video link), meaning it’s now Kyle Shanahan‘s call on whether to redeploy the high-priced defender Saturday. The 49ers used their second IR-return spot on Alexander, who is attempting to return from a midseason pectoral tear, but have not activated him yet.
  • Winding down an oft-injured season, Dee Ford is back at 49ers practice and appears ready to return at a key juncture. The veteran defensive end has dealt with a few maladies, his most recent being a hamstring issue that he aggravated in December. Ford’s gone through limited practices the past two days.
  • One of the NFL’s most important No. 2 wideouts, Will Fuller is trending in the right direction for the Texans‘ divisional-round rematch in Kansas City. The Texans expect their deep threat to return against the Chiefs, Rapoport tweets. Fuller was limited Wednesday. Deshaun Watson‘s QBR figure is 16 points higher when Fuller is on the field compared to when he’s not. The injury-prone wideout missed six games this season, the latest because of the groin injury he sustained in December.
  • Among the healthiest of the divisional-round teams, the Packers will have their right tackle back in the mix. Bryan Bulaga suffered a concussion in Week 17 but passed the protocol Wednesday, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com notes. Kenny Clark, however, missed practice with a back injury. The contract-year defensive lineman played all 16 Packer games this season.

Mark Ingram Expected Back For Playoffs

Mark Ingram went down in Cleveland in Week 16, and his calf strain may force Baltimore to turn to other running backs. But by the time the Ravens play their next game of consequence, Ingram is expected to be back in uniform.

The Pro Bowl running back should be back in time for the Ravens’ divisional-round game, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link). Ingram will have either 20 or 21 days to recover, depending on Baltimore receiving the Saturday or Sunday Round 2 date. After good news stemming from a Monday MRI, that is expected to be enough rehab time.

Baltimore’s Ingram signing has worked out incredibly well. The 30-year-old back earned his third Pro Bowl nod and surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for the third time, getting to 1,018 with his 55-yard showing Sunday. Ingram will also end a season with more than five yards per carry for the second time, finishing with 5.0 per tote in the Ravens’ historically successful ground attack.

The point man of said ground force, Lamar Jackson will also be shelved for Week 17. For the first time in the franchise’s 24-year history, the Ravens have clinched home-field advantage. The runaway MVP frontrunner will have two weeks of rest before taking the field in his first divisional-round game. While the words “calf strain” have taken on a new meaning after the Kevin Durant debacle, Jackson may well have Ingram out there when the Ravens resume relevant football.