Justin Houston, Three Others Activated From COVID-19 List

OLB Justin Houston

Baltimore's defense got some key players back before Wednesday's practice.

Outside linebacker Justin Houston, safety Geno Stone and inside linebackers Chris Board and Kristian Welch were activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Those returning players join cornerbacks Chris Westry and Jimmy Smith and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, who were activated earlier this week, and Tyus Bowser who was activated before Wednesday's practice.

Houston leads the Ravens in quarterback hits (17) to go with 4.5 sacks, and his presence will be welcomed as Baltimore prepares to face quarterback Matthew Stafford and the potent passing attack of the Los Angeles Rams (11-4). Houston has at least one quarterback hit in 11 of his 13 games, and he also has 29 tackles including six tackles for loss.

Board and Welch add depth to the inside linebacker rotation behind Patrick Queen and Josh Bynes. Board has played at least 30 percent of the defensive snaps in 11 games this season, and he is also a top performer on special teams.

Stone's playing time has increased significantly during the second half of the season since DeShon Elliott (pectoral) was lost for the year. When Chuck Clark was on the COVID-19 list and missed the Green Bay Packers game earlier this month, Stone played every defensive snap and wore the green dot defensive communication helmet normally worn by Clark. With Clark back, Stone is again a top reserve.

In other transactions, offensive tackle David Sharpe and quarterback Chris Streveler have returned to the practice squad.

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