The Ravens went into Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns short-handed on the defensive line.
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Brandon Williams missed the game after being added to the injury report on Saturday with a knee issue, and the Browns took advantage of his absence by putting up 193 rushing yards and 40 points.
After the game, Head Coach John Harbaugh provided some context about Williams' issue.
"He has something that flared up on him," Harbaugh said. "It wasn't an injury. It was a thing that caused him a lot of pain and that was what flared up on him."
Harbaugh didn't say how much time Williams would miss.
The seventh-year lineman tested out the knee before the game during warmups, but the Ravens determined he wasn't ready to play. Rookie Daylon Mack played in his first game to fill in for Williams.
With Williams sidelined, the Ravens struggled to stop the Browns on the ground or through the air. Running back Nick Chubb rushed for three touchdowns on 165 yards, including an 88-yard score. Quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 342 yards and a score.
"It hurt a lot, honestly," defensive tackle Michael Pierce said about Williams' absence. "That's our leader. He's one of the best nose guards in the league, in my opinion. Any time you're missing one of those guys it's big time. But we have to step up."
Williams has been incredibly durable throughout his career. He last missed games because of an injury in 2017, and his absence at that point also created a glaring hole in the run defense. During the four-game stretch he missed in 2017, the Ravens went 1-3 and the defense allowed an average of 169.5 rushing yards per game.
Regardless of how much time Williams may miss, the Ravens know they need to get their defense back on track after allowing more than 500 total yards in back-to-back games.
"Either way, it's always next man up," Pierce said. "We have to fix some stuff."