Star Ravens tight end Mark Andrews has an “outside chance” of returning from an ankle injury that was initially feared to be season-ending, coach John Harbaugh said Monday.
Harbaugh said the damage to Andrews’ ankle, which he hurt early in Thursday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals, “wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been.” NFL Network reported Friday that Andrews suffered a cracked fibula, a bone between the knee and the ankle, along with ankle ligament damage after Cincinnati’s Logan Wilson brought him down with a hip-drop tackle. The Ravens are expected to know more after Andrews meets this week with Dr. Robert Anderson, a renowned foot and ankle specialist based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“We’ll just have to see how that goes,” said Harbaugh, who declined to speculate on a potential timetable. “I don’t want to say that’s definitive by any stretch, but there is some optimism” that Andrews could return.
Andrews leads the Ravens in touchdowns (six) and is second in catches (43) and receiving yards (544) this season despite missing almost two full games this season because of injuries. In his absence, the offense will lean on second-year tight ends Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar.
“We’re probably more prepared to deal with something like this than we have been,” Harbaugh said. “We have a lot of guys that can step up and make plays — wide receivers, tight ends, running backs. I feel really good about the guys that are going to altogether fill in for Mark Andrews. ... He’s a superstar player. It’s impossible to replace him, per se. We have to replace him together as a group. And I really believe we can do it. And when he gets back, we’ll just be that much stronger for it, whenever that is.”
Harbaugh also said quarterback Lamar Jackson, who played through a minor ankle injury Thursday, is fine. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey, sidelined last week by a calf injury, will “hopefully be back this week,” Harbaugh said. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., meanwhile, is dealing with a shoulder injury he suffered Thursday that is not considered “long term.”