The Baltimore Ravens may have won the battle on Thursday night, but winning the war just became that much harder. Exiting the game early on following a tackle by Cincinnati Bengals LB Logan Wilson, TE Mark Andrews is now expected to miss the remainder of the season.
The All-Pro had already battled some injuries this season, but the latest ailment is unrelated. Wilson landed on his ankle as he twisted Andrews to the ground in order to make the tackle. He was seen writhing in pain immediately after. Following a very quick X-ray, he was ruled out for the remainder of the game, which is frequently a bad sign.
“Unfortunately, Mark Andrews has a very serious ankle injury”, Harbaugh announced in his post-game press conference. “It looks like a season-ending injury, so our prayers will be with Mark. Nobody cares more about the team and being there for the guys than Mark Andrews, so this is going to be hard for him, but we’re going to be there for him all the way”.
Andrews caught two passes for 23 yards leading up to the injury. If he has indeed played his last down of 23, he will have finished the season with 45 receptions for 544 yards and six touchdowns in 10 games. Not too shabby.
Since being drafted in the third round in 2018, Andrews has become one of the game’s elite receiving tight ends. He has caught 381 passes in his career for 4,857 yards and 40 touchdowns, earning three Pro Bowls and one All-Pro designation.
He has truly been QB Lamar Jackson’s best friend since entering the league together, far and away his favorite target entering last night’s game. Of Jackson’s career 14,386 passing yards, Andrews accounted for 3,716. WR Marquise Brown at 2,089 was a distant second, nobody else with even 1,000 yards. The tight end was also responsible for 33 of his 111 touchdown passes and 285 of his 1,249 completions.
There’s no question that the Ravens and Jackson losing Andrews is a major blow, but they also have the best corps. of wide receivers they have ever surrounded Jackson with. Of particular note is rookie first-round pick Zay Flowers, who set a new franchise record during the game for the most receptions by a rookie in a single season. Though he exited the game with a shoulder injury, veteran Odell Beckham Jr. is also coming along in recent weeks, recording his first 100-yard game since before his ankle injury with the Los Angeles Rams.
That, and, of course, they always have the run game, of which Jackson is an integral part, as ever. He will likely surpass 5,000 career rushing yards his next time out and now has more than 500 on the season. Even with J.K. Dobbins done for the year, they have been getting quality work from Gus Edwards and more recently, rookie Keaton Mitchell, an undrafted free agents whose father played for the team in the past.
As it stands, Baltimore is in the driver’s seat for the AFC North, sitting at 8-3. They still have one more game left to play before they finally hit their bye, and by then, they are guaranteed to be no worse than half a game out of the division lead even if either the Pittsburgh Steelers or Cleveland Browns win out through that time and the Ravens lose their next game.