As Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was quick to point out, using a meme made out of a photograph by The Baltimore Banner’s Kylie Cooper, the list of injured Ravens is getting dangerously long.

Coach John Harbaugh had no update to offer Monday on the players who left Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts early. Assuming they are still injured, the list of Ravens injuries has hit 20.

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After Week 2, the Ravens already had the most wins above replacement lost due to injury, according to Pro Football Focus. The situation only got worse after Week 3.

Neither the quantity nor quality of missing players is “too much to bear” yet, Harbaugh said. But after a week of saying injuries are part of football and pointing out the next man up mentality, Harbaugh had to admit injuries are “definitely relevant” to the Ravens’ story.

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The injuries aren’t limited to position (although they’ve decimated the running back position), and they stretch across offense, defense and special teams. At this point, each injury is significant because the Ravens are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Fortunately, the majority of the injuries aren’t season-ending.

Looking on the bright side, The Baltimore Banner ranked how much each player’s return could help:

Game-changers

Any starting running back: This position group, which seemed deep with three solid backs, has been completely wiped out. The Ravens proved they could survive one loss after J.K. Dobbins suffered his season-ending Achilles tendon tear in Week 1. They beat the Cincinnati Bengals with Justice Hill and Gus Edwards. But after Hill’s toe injury in Week 2, the running game started to suffer. And when Edwards went out in Week 3 with a concussion, the situation became critical. In overtime, the Ravens couldn’t get anything going. Now, they’re about to play one of the best defenses in the league with only practice squad promotions in their backfield.

CB Marlon Humphrey (foot): A veteran, a starter and a locker room leader, Humphrey’s absence is felt even if the secondary is holding up. His versatility gives the defense more options, and he causes headaches for quarterbacks with his blitzing. The Ravens could use a game-breaker like the three-time Pro Bowl selection.

C Tyler Linderbaum (ankle): Heading into the season, Linderbaum was projected to be an All-Pro contender. It’s always a good time to have that caliber of player in your lineup. When it’s your center and the offense is having trouble with communication, snaps, and run blocking, his return becomes essential.

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OLB Odafe Oweh (ankle): Oweh got off to an impressive start, showing off how dynamic he can be as a pass rusher and putting up a solid performance as a run stopper. A gifted athlete, Oweh has a high ceiling, but the injury has stalled his momentum. With more injuries to the outside linebacker position, Oweh’s return is essential for keeping his teammates’ snap counts down and adding more versatility to what the defense can do.

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LT Ronnie Stanley (knee): In addition to being a veteran, Stanley is the team’s most athletic tackle. The depth linemen stepped up in Week 2 but struggled in Week 3. In the coming weeks, the Ravens will face two good defenses, both of which feature dangerous pass rushers in the Cleveland Browns’ Myles Garrett and Za’Darius Smith and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ T.J. Watt. After facing four quarterback hurries and being sacked four times by the Colts, Jackson would surely appreciate having a trusted tackle to protect him.

S Marcus Williams (pectoral): The secondary has done well despite the loss of Williams and multiple other defensive backs. But continued success is not guaranteed, especially considering the high snap counts depth players are now taking. In addition to giving his teammates relief, a healthy Williams would slide Kyle Hamilton from nickel back to the position Harbaugh said he wants Hamilton. Williams is also a ball hawk and would help the defense go from solid to disruptive.

Would-be starters

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) makes an overhead catch near the end zone in the opening game of the season against the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

OLB Tyus Bowser (knee): Primarily an outside linebacker, Bowser has the ability to line up inside on passing downs. That’s something the younger outside linebackers haven’t developed quite yet. They also don’t have the experience Bowser has, and while he’s around the team, he’s not on the field to teach them in real time or to keep them from being overextended. Bowser’s football IQ is missed on both the run and pass defenses.

WR Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle): Jackson was clearly missing the security blanket of Beckham against the Colts as he struggled to find his targets. Without Beckham in the game, there’s one less option Jackson trusts when the game is on the line. The passing game stalled against the Colts, partly because of weather but also because of the lack of weapons.

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OLB David Ojabo (ankle): With Ojabo out, the Ravens are now extremely thin at outside linebacker. As a result, Jeremiah Moon played over 100 snaps in his NFL debut. Ojabo’s trajectory has been on an upward trend. He has been much improved at run stuffing and was getting better at pass rushing. He needs more game reps to develop, but may instead be spending his time rehabbing with his friend and fellow outside linebacker Oweh.

S Geno Stone (ribs): With Williams out, Stone stepped up in a big way. But now, Stone is out, too. The secondary’s losses haven’t been evident yet, but as the Ravens look farther down the depth chart, each injury may loom larger. Stone’s absence will also be felt on special teams, which was struggling even before players started dropping.

S Ar’Darius Washington (chest): As the starting slot cornerback, Washington had a good game in Week 1, but he didn’t get to build on it. Instead, Hamilton filled in and had his own impressive performance. But Harbaugh was clear that that’s not where they want Hamilton playing long-term, so Washington’s return would help the Ravens defense get back on track.

Depth pieces

Baltimore Ravens running back Keaton Mitchell (34) celebrates a touchdown rush (that was later called back) with wide receiver Dontay Demus Jr. (18) during a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

OLB Malik Hamm (ankle): The undrafted rookie’s absence becomes more notable now that the Ravens have lost three other linebackers.

RB Keaton Mitchell (shoulder): The Ravens are searching for answers at the running back position, and Mitchell could have gotten his chance if not for his injury. After going undrafted, the rookie flashed in training camp with his speed and his ability to make plays on third down. The Ravens sorely missed that skill against the Colts.

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OL Andrew Vorhees (ACL): Vorhees won’t be coming back after his season-ending injury, but if he were an option, he would have added depth to a thin offensive line.

LS Nick Moore (Achilles): The Ravens haven’t suffered at the long snapper position unless Justin Tucker, who has had some uncharacteristic misses, is missing his chemistry with Moore and just hasn’t mentioned it. But Moore’s absence has off-the-field implications. The Ravens, who are already tight to the salary cap, had to go pay another long snapper to replace Moore.

CB Trayvon Mullen (toe): The Ravens were optimistic about Mullen in camp despite ultimately releasing him. However, they could use some more depth, especially a player with some starting experience.

WR Tylan Wallace (hamstring): The special teams were already hurting, and now they’re down main contributors. The wide receiver room still has options, but losing Wallace hurts.

CB Damarion “Pepe” Williams (ankle): With three cornerbacks out, Williams’ return could mean more options and better distribution of reps. Williams could help out in the slot, and he also contributes on special teams.

giana.han@thebaltimorebanner.com

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