Brandon Williams and Sammy Watkins Inactive; Rashod Bateman Is Active

Left: DT Brandon Williams; Right: WR Rashod Bateman

The Ravens will be missing a key run defender Sunday, facing one of the NFL's top running backs.

Nose tackle Brandon Williams (shoulder) is inactive against the Minnesota Vikings and will be out of the lineup for just the second time this season. Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (444 yards, 4.5 yards per carry) is one of the keys to Minnesota's offense, and he may get even more touches without Williams in the lineup. Derek Wolfe, another key member of Baltimore's defensive line, has been out of the lineup all season and remains on injured reserve. With Williams not playing, Justin Ellis is expected to start at nose tackle and see plenty of action, while Kahlil Mackenzie could also be part of the defensive line rotation.

Rookie wide receiver Rashod Bateman (groin) is active after missing practice Friday, but wide receiver Sammy Watkins (thigh) will miss his third straight game. Head Coach Johh Harbaugh was optimistic that Bateman would play, and the Ravens' first pick in this year's draft (27th overall) has contributed immediately in two games (seven catches, 109 yards) after missing the first five games following groin surgery. Bateman will be part of the wide receiver group lining up opposite No. 1 receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown, who is off to the best start of his career.

Running back Latavius Murray (ankle) and starting right tackle Patrick Mekari (ankle) are inactive after not practicing all week. Devonta Freeman, Ty'Son Williams and Le'Veon Bell will share the running back responsibilities with Murray missing his second straight game. Safety Ar'Darius Washington is also inactive for the Ravens. Outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson is active for the first time since Week 2.

For the Vikings, starting safety Harrison Smith was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Sunday, a huge blow to their defense. Former Ravens nose tackle Michael Pierce (elbow) was ruled out for the Vikings on Friday.That hurts a run defense that is already ranked 21st in the NFL. Top defensive end and pass rusher Danielle Hunter was placed on IR this week.

Starting cornerback Cameron Dantzler (ankle) and starting linebacker Anthony Barr (knee) are both active for Minnesota. The Vikings' other inactives are wide receiver Imir Smith-Marsette and linebacker Chazz Surratt.

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