Mark Andrews

Ravens Activate TE Mark Andrews From IR

As expected, the Ravens will have Mark Andrews available for this weekend’s AFC title game. The All-Pro tight end was activated from injured reserve on Friday, per a team announcement.

Andrews returned to practice two weeks ago, leaving open the possibility that he could suit up for Baltimore’s divisional round contest. To little surprise, however, he was unable to recover in time for that game. With the Ravens having advanced to the conference championship, though, he will now be able to see game action for the first time since November.

The three-time Pro Bowler suffered a leg fracture and ligament damage in his ankle, and the requisite surgery appeared to mark an end to his campaign. The team has been optimistic about a postseason return, though, and Andrews’ ongoing progress has now made that possible. Today’s move was foreshadowed yesterday when Jeremiah Moon was waived, creating a roster spot for Andrews to take.

The latter was in the midst of another strong season before suffering the injury, posting 544 yards and six touchdowns in 10 games. Andrews has drawn at least eight targets in a game three times this season, demonstrating his continued presence as a focal point of the Ravens’ passing game. The team’s re-vamped WR room has helped alleviate Andrews’ absence, but the 28-year-old can still be considered quarterback Lamar Jackson‘s favorite target.

Of course, Andrews’ injury paved the way for fellow tight end Isaiah Likely to take on a starting role late in the regular season and into the playoffs. The 2022 fourth-rounder flashed potential as a complementary option as a rookie, but he was not a signficant factor in the passing game before Andrews went down. With an uptick in usage, however, Likely has posted 40 or more yards five times as a starter; he has also racked up five touchdowns. It will be interesting to see how he and Andrews are used now that both are healthy again.

Today’s move will use up one of the Ravens’ two remaining IR activations. The team will thus have a degree of roster flexibility ahead of the Super Bowl if Baltimore manages to win against Kansas City on Sunday. Having Andrews back in the fold will no doubt help in that regard.

Ravens Waive OLB Jeremiah Moon

The Ravens have made a roster move ahead of this weekend’s AFC Championship game, waiving pass rusher Jeremiah Moon from the 53-man roster. Moon has gone back and forth between the active roster and practice squad this season, and his release will open up a roster spot for a potential big addition this Sunday.

A second-year, undrafted player out of Florida, Moon spent his entire rookie year on the practice squad. This year, Moon was signed to the active roster shortly into the season before ultimately being waived and signed to the practice squad in late-October. Even from the practice squad, though, Moon saw himself elevated enough times to appear in eight games and even start a game this year.

Moon played in last Saturday’s win over the Texans, mostly appearing on special teams before the blowout nature of the game allowed him some defensive snaps, as well. The team likely won’t miss him on special teams, though, as key special teamer Del’Shawn Phillips is hopeful to return from injury. After appearing in every regular season game, the reserve linebacker sat out of the Divisional Round with a shoulder injury.

The real return that Moon’s waiving allows for is that of star tight end Mark Andrews from injured reserve. Andrews has been out since mid-November after suffering a cracked fibula and a high ankle sprain from getting taken down by a hip-drop tackle by Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson. The team didn’t have much faith in seeing Andrews play again this year, but as one of the last four teams remaining, the Ravens have stayed alive long enough to grant their leading tight end a chance to play again this season.

Baltimore doesn’t have too long left to activate Andrews in time for this weekend’s game, but waiving Moon seems like the perfect primer for such a move. Moon has fit well over his two years in Baltimore. Expect him to return via a practice squad or reserve/futures contract should he clear waivers.

Ravens Designate Mark Andrews For Return

JANUARY 19: While an initial report indicated the Ravens were planning to activate Andrews for their divisional-round game,’s Ian Rapoport indicates the team will hold off on that. The No. 1-seeded club will not move Andrews back to its 53-man roster before Saturday’s Texans tilt, with Rapoport adding an AFC championship return — provided Baltimore qualifies for that round for the first time in 11 years — has been the goal.

Andrews logged full practices on Wednesday and Thursday this week, but the Ravens will remain cautious with their top pass catcher.

JANUARY 12: As the Ravens continue with their bye week ahead of the wild-card round, they have received encouraging news on the injury front. Tight end Mark Andrews was designated for return from injured reserve on Friday, and he took part in the day’s practice session.

The move opens Andrews’ 21-day day activation window and marks another signficant step in his recovery process. The All-Pro suffered a cracked fibula as well as ligament damage in his ankle in November, an injury which threatened to end his season. After undergoing surgery, however, it became clear the Ravens were holding out hope that he would manage to return at some point down the road.

Andrews has had a successful recovery process to date, strengthening the belief that he could suit up in the event Baltimore made a deep postseason run. By securing the top seed in the AFC, the Ravens earned an extra week of recovery for the three-time Pro Bowler, who was enjoying another productive campaign prior to the injury. Andrews totaled 544 yards and six touchdowns on 45 catches across 10 games before going down.

The former third-rounder has been quarterback Lamar Jackson‘s preferred target in the passing game throughout his career. Andrews has remained a focal point of Baltimore’s offense since signing a four-year, $56MM extension in 2021, but his absence has opened the door for another key contributor on offense in recent weeks. 2022 fourth-rounder Isaiah Likely has taken on a starting role in Andrews’ absence, and he has impressed with the increased workload so far.

Likely has posted a 30-411-5 statline this season, with much of his production coming after Andrews was sidelined. In general, the Ravens’ offense has managed to hold up better than expected with Andrews (along with running backs J.K. Dobbins and Keaton Mitchell, who are out for the year) on the sidelines. Still, his return to the lineup in time for the divisional round would be a major boost to Baltimore’s Super Bowl aspirations.

Andrews now joins wideout/returner Devin Duvernay as well as defensive back Ar’Darius Washington in having his practice window opened. The Ravens have four IR activations remaining, but three of them will be needed to bring each member of the trio back into the fold.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/25/23

Here are today’s minor moves and callups for Week 12’s Sunday slate:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Mark Andrews To Undergo Surgery; Ravens TE Has Outside Chance To Return In 2023

NOVEMBER 21: Andrews will end up undergoing surgery, with’s Mike Garafolo indicating that operation will take place Tuesday in Charlotte. The sixth-year tight end missing the rest of the season remains the most likely scenario, though Garafolo adds he still may have an outside chance to come back if the Ravens make a deep playoff run.

NOVEMBER 20: Thursday night’s AFC North matchup cost the Bengals their quarterback and sidelined the Ravens’ top pass catcher as well. Baltimore, however, is not giving up on Mark Andrews playing again this season.

Although Andrews suffered ligament damage and a cracked fibula, John Harbaugh said Monday the injury is not as a bad as initially feared. Pointing to the damage being cleaner than expected, the 16th-year Ravens HC said (via The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec) an outside chance exists Andrews will be able to return this season.

An Andrews return would not be in play until the playoffs, and’s Ian Rapoport adds a deep playoff run may be required for an Andrews comeback to commence. But Andrews having a potential reentry point represents positive news for the AFC North-leading team. Andrews will meet with foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson this week, per Harbaugh. That will provide more clarity on the potential return window. Until that appointment, however, Harbaugh is limiting optimism here, per’s Jamison Hensley.

Andrews, 28, has never missed more than two games in a season. That run of relatively good health will test the Ravens in a different way moving forward. The team has second-year cog Isaiah Likely in place as its top pass-catching tight end beyond Andrews, but perhaps more importantly, its cadre of wide receivers is healthy as well. The team has seen Zay Flowers become an impact rookie, and Odell Beckham Jr. has showed improvement in recent weeks. Rashod Bateman and Nelson Agholor are available, with each scoring a touchdown in the Ravens’ Week 11 win over the Bengals. Lamar Jackson will likely need to lean on his deeper collection of wideouts during Andrews’ lengthy upcoming absence.

The 49ers found themselves in a similar situation last year, with Jimmy Garoppolo having an outside chance to come back from his early-December Jones fracture. The injuries are obviously not the same, but San Francisco did not move its then-starter to IR in an effort to keep that scenario on the table. Last year’s 49ers were in worse shape in terms of IR activations compared to these Ravens, who have five remaining. The team hopes David Ojabo will represent one such activation, but it should be expected Andrews will be placed on IR. A return would, then, require an activation.

Becoming a top-tier tight end early in his career, Andrews has been Jackson’s lead target for most of the former MVP’s run as the Ravens’ starter. The former third-round pick has a 1,300-yard season under his belt, and that came during a 2021 campaign in which Jackson did not finish. Even after Andrews missed Week 1 and went down early in Week 11, his 544 receiving yards per game are third among tight ends this season — behind only T.J. Hockenson and Travis Kelce. It is a near-certainty Andrews will not add to that total this season, but with more than two months until the divisional round, a door is open to playoff contributions taking place.

Ravens Not Expecting Mark Andrews To Return This Season

2:48pm: An MRI has revealed a cracked fibula in addition to the ankle ligament damage, Rapoport tweets. With a slightly clearer picture, Andrews is still unlikely to play again in 2023, though further information will be gathered soon. Rapoport adds the Ravens will meet with Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte next week to devise a firm course of action. More will likely be known then regarding a recovery timeline.

8:21am: The early-game injury Mark Andrews sustained Thursday night is expected to result in the Pro Bowl tight end missing the rest of the season, according to John Harbaugh.

Andrews is believed to have suffered a high ankle sprain and more damage, per’s Ian Rapoport (video link). This will be new territory for the Ravens, who have relied on Andrews throughout the Lamar Jackson era. The former third-round pick has never previously missed more than two games in a season.

A hip-drop tackle from Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson left Andrews in pain after a first-quarter reception. The Ravens quickly ruled Andrews out during a game that featured high-profile injuries. The extent of Joe Burrow‘s wrist injury is not fully known, while Jackson returned to action after a Wilson tackle led him into the medical tent. Despite the Ravens pulling away against a Jake Browning-dependent Bengals outfit, they came out of the Week 11 divisional matchup worse off.

Andrews is set for an MRI on Friday morning. This purely being a high ankle sprain would not stand to end Andrews’ season, but the potential ligament damage here resides as the chief concern. Andrews is not currently leading the Ravens in receiving yards, which marks a change from the norm. Zay Flowers exited Week 11 with 588, but Andrews (544, six TDs) has proven indispensable during Jackson’s tenure. As the team has struggled to identify steady receiving talent in recent years, Andrews morphing from a No. 86 overall pick into one of the NFL’s best tight ends has been pivotal for Jackson’s growth as a passer.

The Ravens have Isaiah Likely and fellow 2022 fourth-rounder Charlie Kolar as Andrews backups. Andrews, 28, is attached to a four-year, $56MM extension he signed during his dominant 2021 season. That deal runs through 2025. Flashing immediate potential, Likely finished with 36 receptions for 373 receiving yards and three touchdowns as a rookie. The Coastal Carolina alum is poised to step in as the Ravens’ lead receiving tight end moving forward.

Choosing Andrews two rounds after picking Hayden Hurst in 2018, the Ravens quickly determined the Oklahoma product had considerable potential. The Ravens later traded Hurst to the Falcons, but Andrews had already taken off as the team’s top option by that point. Breaking through with a 10-touchdown campaign during Jackson’s superstar turn in 2019, Andrews has three Pro Bowls on his resume. He led all tight ends with 1,361 yards in 2021, doing so despite Jackson missing a chunk of that season.

Andrews has not always led the Ravens in receiving yardage during his career, with Marquise Brown doing so twice, but there has not been any doubt as to the team’s most important pass catcher. The Ravens have chosen three first-round wideouts since drafting Andrews while throwing free agency resources at the position. Jackson has shown a steady rapport with Andrews, with the standout QB’s immediate dejection upon seeing the sixth-year tight end go down an ominous sign of the ensuing fallout. Baltimore’s wide receivers will now become a bigger part of the division-leading team’s equation.

The Ravens have assembled a deeper receiving corps compared to recent years, signing both Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor and then using their first-round pick on Flowers. The Boston College product appears to be a hit, and the team still has 2021 first-rounder Rashod Bateman available. Bateman has battled injuries throughout his career and was on the shelf with a season-ending foot injury at this time last year. All four of Baltimore’s top wideouts are healthy at this point; that will be critical in the Ravens’ quest to win their first division title since 2019.

Ravens Not Looking Externally For RB Help

The Ravens were forced to swallow a heavy pill when starting running back J.K. Dobbins suffered a torn Achilles tendon during the team’s win over the Texans this weekend. For solutions, many thought to look at the free agent or trade market, both of which are ripe with talented veterans, but head coach John Harbaugh said today that Baltimore will not be looking externally for running back help, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.

With options like Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette in free agency and a player like Jonathan Taylor reportedly available via trade, no one would blame Harbaugh and company for bringing in an experienced starter to tote the rock. Instead, the Ravens feel confident in the options they have in-house to take over with Harbaugh even indicating that they will be operating with a committee in the backfield.

When Dobbins exited Sunday’s game, fifth-year backup Justice Hill stepped in and immediately scored a touchdown, his first since the 2019 season. While he later scored a second touchdown, matching his career-high for a season, Hill only amassed nine yards on eight carries. Veteran backup rusher Gus Edwards, who has filled in as a starter at times in his career, was a bit more productive with his eight carries, racking up 32 yards.

Adding veterans didn’t quite deliver the desired result two years ago when Dobbins, Edwards, and Hill all missed the 2021 season with season-ending injuries before the year even began. That year, Baltimore turned to a committee featuring veteran backs like Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray, and Le’Veon Bell in conjunction with Ty’Son Williams. Freeman and Murray each reached 500 rushing yards and delivered six scores apiece, but overall, the running game was dependent on quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Still, the Ravens added veteran rusher Melvin Gordon in the offseason, ultimately cutting him and signing him to the practice squad before the regular season. Gordon seems like an obvious callup to help carry the load without Dobbins. The Ravens also saw some impressive preseason performances from undrafted rookies Keaton Mitchell and Owen Wright, landing both on the team’s roster in some capacity to start the year. Mitchell currently resides on injured reserve himself, so he’s unable to contribute at this time. Wright, though, landed on the practice squad and may also hear his number called up to the active roster this season.

Dobbins is now expected to undergo surgery to repair his Achilles tendon this Friday, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Pelissero points out that Rams running back Cam Akers recovered from a similar surgery in less than six months two years ago. Dobbins will be aiming for a similar timeline, bringing him back shortly after the start of the 2024 league year.

In other injury news, Harbaugh confirmed that starting free safety Marcus Williams “will be out for a while” after suffering a pectoral muscle injury, according to Ravens editorial director Ryan Mink. Williams missed seven games in his Baltimore debut last year and will be forced to miss more in 2023, but the team is holding out hope that he will not be out for the season. He’ll be forced to make a decision soon on whether or not he will undergo surgery, as well.

In Williams’ absence, the team turned to Geno Stone yesterday. Stone started the seven games missed by Williams last year, as well. The team also has versatile defensive backs Brandon Stephens and Ar’Darius Washington that they can turn to. Stephens recently moved back to safety after spending time at cornerback when the depth chart was thin there. Washington has always been a safety but got extensive work in the slot this offseason.

Starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley and center Tyler Linderbaum suffered a sprained knee and ankle, respectively, forcing them both to leave the game early, as well. Both players are reportedly “week-to-week” but could miss the trip to Cincinnati this Sunday. Versatile sixth-man Patrick Mekari stepped in for Stanley yesterday and is an easy choice to start as an injury replacement as he’s done so often in the past. Offseason addition and practice squad callup Sam Mustipher filled in at center and will likely continue to do so, if needed.

The team will certainly hope that they won’t need to rely on Mekari and Mustipher for too long, and though they are clearly missing many bodies for the upcoming matchup with their division-rival, they’ll hope to get some back, too. Both cornerback Marlon Humphrey and tight end Mark Andrews will have a chance to play this weekend. There’s still work to be done, but things have been looking up recently for both players.

NFL Injury Updates: Armstead, Andrews, Waller, Okudah, Moss

The Dolphins are expected to be productive on offense with a healthy Tua Tagovailoa under center, but protection for him up front will be critical to his success. Miami will be shorthanded up front to begin the campaign.

Left tackle Terron Armstead is out for the Dolphins’ opener against the Chargers, as noted by NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe. The four-time Pro Bowler is dealing with back, knee and ankle injuries and has not practiced since August 16. He was carted off the field that day, which represented a setback from his ongoing recovery from offseason knee surgery.

Armstead, 32, expressed optimism that he would be healthy in time for Week 1 before suffering the new injuries last month. His absence will be sorely missed given his importance to the team as a high-end blocker when available, and the five-year, $75MM pact he signed with the Dolphins last offseason. Wolfe notes that veteran Kendall Lamm is expected to get the nod in place of Armstead.

Here are some other injury updates in advance of Sunday’s action:

  • The focal point of the Ravens‘ new-look passing game will likely not be in action tomorrow. Tight end Mark Andrews was listed as questionable on the team’s final injury report, but he is not expected to play against the Texans, reports NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The three-time Pro Bowler has been dealing with a quad injury recently, but he practiced on a limited basis each day this week. If he does indeed miss the contest, Baltimore will turn to 2022 draftees Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar at the TE spot, while leaning on a revamped receiver room which added Odell Beckham Jr. and first-round rookie Zay Flowers in the offseason.
  • Darren Waller‘s Giants debut may be delayed. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that the 30-year-old is dealing with a hamstring injury, and his availability for Monday night against the Cowboys is in question. Waller is no stranger to hamstring issues, and they caused signficant missed time during his Raiders tenure. Upon being traded to New York, he received an opportunity to serve as the team’s top pass-catcher, so any absence would deal a blow to the Giants’ offense. 2022 fourth-rounder Daniel Bellinger would take on an increased role at the TE spot if Waller were unable to play.
  • Cornerback Jeff Okudah has been ruled out by the Falcons, Wolfe notes. The former No. 3 pick had a disappointing run in Detroit which included a number of significant injuries, one of which was a 2021 Achilles tear. Plenty is at stake for him in Atlanta, as he is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Okudah, 24, suffered a leg injury last month and his recovery was not expected to last deep into the start of the regular season. Free agent signing Tre Flowers could step into a starting role opposite A.J. Terrell against the Panthers on Sunday.
  • Colts running back Zack Moss was downgraded to doubtful by a team announcement on Saturday. He is recovering from a broken arm, and it was always in the air whether or not he would recover in time to play Week 1. Of course, the absence of the former Bills draftee will compound the fact that Jonathan Taylor is on the PUP list to begin the season, meaning he will be sidelined for at least four weeks. Plenty of rushing responsibility will likely fall to former UDFA Deon Jackson and 2021 Rams seventh-rounder Jake Funk in quarterback Anthony Richardson‘s NFL debut.

Notable 2023 Pro Bowl Incentives

The NFL announced their 2023 Pro Bowl rosters this evening. Besides the ability to list the accolade on their career resume (plus the monetary bonus that comes from participating in and winning the game), many players had a financial incentive for wanting a Pro Bowl nod. We’ve collected some of the notable Pro Bowl contract incentives below, most via ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter (unless noted).

Geno Smith‘s contract bonus came via a specific incentive that required not only Pro Bowl recognition but 20 touchdown passes, according to Yates (on Twitter). Smith hit that TD mark back in Week 13. The impending free agent is set to cash in following a breakout campaign during his age-32 season.

Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard has a more complex bonus worked into his contract. According to CBS Sports’ Joel Corry (on Twitter), Howard is one step closer to earning a $1MM bonus thanks to his Pro Bowl nod, but he’ll also need Miami to improve in either wins, points allowed, TDs allowed, total defense, interceptions, average net yards allowed per rushing play, or turnover margin.

Speaking of the Dolphins, the organization saved a chunk of future money since one of their players didn’t make the Pro Bowl roster. As Daniel Oyefusi of the Miami Herald tweets, Tua Tagovailoa‘s fifth-year option would have increased from $22MM to $28MM if he earned a Pro Bowl nod.

Ravens WR DeSean Jackson Expected To Play Week 9; TE Mark Andrews Ruled Out

NOVEMBER 6: To little surprise, the Ravens announced on Sunday that Andrews will not travel with the team to New Orleans, as he is out. Fourth-round rookie Isaiah Likely will assume his starting tight end role.

NOVEMBER 5: The Ravens’ pass-catching corps is in a state of flux right now, with the team’s No.1 wideout sidelined for the remainder of the campaign. Especially significant given that development, a new face will likely join the unit on Monday night.

Veteran DeSean Jackson is expected to be elevated from the practice squad to Baltimore’s active roster, as detailed by Clifton Brown of the team’s website. That would put him in line to make his Ravens debut during their Week 9 matchup against the Saints.

“I think that’s a good possibility,” head coach John Harbuagh said when asked about the 35-year-old suiting up. “We’re going to keep seeing how he’s doing, but I personally think he’s probably ready. If he’s ready two days from now, then he’ll be out there.”

Receiver was already a position filled with question marks for the Ravens before 2021 first-rounder Rashod Bateman underwent season-ending foot surgery. That will lead to a greater workload for the likes of Devin Duvernay, James Proche and Tylan Wallace. Jackson could provide a deep threat to compliment that quartet, however, as he has throughout his career. He played one game for the Rams and Raiders each in 2021.

Jackson’s role could be even larger if tight end Mark Andrews is unable to play. The All-Pro exited Baltimore’s win over the Buccaneers last week with shoulder and ankle injuries, though Harbaugh had indicated that a long-term absence was not expected in his case. Especially with Bateman unavailable, Andrews missing Monday’s game as well would deal a major blow to a passing attack which ranks 26th in the league with an average of just 204 yards per game through the air.

Andrews has been listed as doubtful on the team’s injury report. The same is true of running back Gus Edwards, who also left last week’s game with an injury. That had been just the second contest he played in this year, after missing of all 2021 with an ACL tear. A hamstring injury appears likely to keep him out for Week 9, but the bye week immediately following that game could see him quickly resume lead back duties in the absence of J.K. Dobbins.

Looking to extend their winning streak to three games and maintain their advantage in the AFC North, the Ravens will have a shorthanded skill-position corps in New Orleans. How much Jackson contributes to the offense will be of particular note during the primetime affair.