Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews was in the Ravens locker room following Friday's practice as he continues to rehab from ankle surgery.
Andrews had surgery Nov. 21 and remains on injured reserve, but Head Coach John Harbaugh did not rule out the possibility last that Andrews could return at some point before the Ravens' season ends. Harbaugh also said that Andrews's surgery went smoothly following his injury against the Bengals on Nov. 16.
"I'm not ruling out Mark Andrews for the down-the-road future at all," Harbaugh said before on Dec. 4. "Mark is so darn tough. Mark is one of those guys that really and truly … You say a guy eats, sleeps and breathes football; that's Mark Andrews. So, he's going to do everything he can to get back down the road."
A three-time Pro Bowler, Andrews was having another super season (45 catches, 544 yards, six touchdowns) prior to his injury. Second-year tight end Isaiah Likely has played well in Andrews' absence with 14 catches for 193 yards and two touchdowns over the last three games. Andrews has been helping Likely in any way he can, including with how he would run certain routes.
"I will tell you if Mark feels like he can play this year, he will give it everything he has because that means Mark can do everything that Mark does," Likely told The Lounge podcast last week.
Odell Beckham Jr. Returns, Arthur Maulet Not at Practice
Odell Beckham Jr. (illness) returned to practice Friday following a two-day absence and was a full participant. Fellow wide receiver Zay Flowers (foot) was also a full participant Friday after being limited Thursday.
However, cornerback Arthur Maulet (knee) was absent after practicing on Thursday. Harbaugh said Maulet's status was day-to-day.
"He had a little flare up there, so we'll see where we're at come game time," Harbaugh said.
Left tackle Ronnie Stanley (concussion) and safety Marcus Williams (groin) were full participants.
The only other player other than Maulet who did not practice is cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis (concussion).
Melvin Gordon III Eager to Prove He Can Still Play
Veteran running back Melvin Gordon III is excited about being on the 53-man roster after being on the practice squad all season. Gordon was elevated for three games (Weeks 2-4), rushing for 53 yards on 13 carries. Now in the aftermath of Keaton Mitchell's season-ending knee injury, Gordon will join the running back rotation to provide depth behind Gus Edwards and Justice Hill.
"It's a blessing, an honor to put on the Ravens uniform," Gordon said. "Even if I don't play (Monday night), I'm that much closer to making a statement. It's really not about proving anybody wrong or right. It's about helping the guys I've built relationships with in this locker room. I don't want to let those guys down when I get my shot. I've got a lot of game left."
The 30-year-old Gordon is in his ninth NFL season and rushed for a career-high 1,105 yards with the Chargers in 2017 and led the Broncos in rushing in both 2020 (986 yards) and 2021 (918 yards). He is also a pass-catching threat out of the backfield with 312 career receptions.
Gordan said he thought another team might sign him from Baltimore's practice squad, and his pride was stung when it didn't happen. The open market can be difficult for veteran NFL running backs and Gordon can speak from personal experience.
"It's been tough, a lot of days when I wondered what was going on," Gordon said. "I didn't understand it. Last year wasn't my best year, but I had so many years where I had good play. Some would say I play the worst position in the National Football League, but maybe that's not even the case. A lot of teams probably just like the guys that they had. But it definitely left a little bitter taste in my mouth. But I'm blessed to have a team that still believed in me, a team that believed I could still play."
Josh Johnson Reflects on Time With 49ers
Backup quarterback Josh Johnson can provide personal insight into the 49ers offense after playing in it. Johnson was a 49ers' backup quarterback last season and replaced Brock Purdy after the first offensive series of last year's NFC Championship game in Philadelphia. Johnson played until the third quarter when he suffered a concussion, and the 49ers suffered a 31-7 defeat.
"My head always goes back to that time because I was dealing with some serious things that I have yet to really talk about," Johnson said. "You go back to moments and that was a good moment. We had a good run last year and they're having another good run this year. And we're having a great run here, too."
The injuries to Purdy and Johnson left the 49ers basically without a quarterback in the NFC Championship and handing the ball off nearly every play. It led to the NFL's rule change this offseason allowing for a third emergency quarterback on gamedays, a role Johnson has served in all season.
Johnson knows the 49ers' offense well, but indicated that he hasn't been a resource for Ravens defensive coaches this week.
"It's more game plan specific," Johnson said. "Our coaches do a great job of breaking down film and coming up with a plan. We've got to come out and play like we've been doing."
Malik Harrison Finds Niche at SAM Linebacker
After missing two games, strong side linebacker Malik Harrison returned in Week 15 against Jacksonville and played 15% of the defensive snaps at SAM linebacker. Harbaugh indicated Harrison's playing time could increase Monday night.
"You're going to obviously be in base [defense] against [the 49ers] some percentage of the time," Harbaugh said. "Malik has done a great job. He's a starter out there in base. He plays the 'Sam' [strongside] backer position. In the history of Raven football – look at those guys and who's played that spot. That's a pretty glorious position to play here, and he's playing it at a really high level. Yes, he's going to be a big part of the gameplan. He's been playing really well. I'm really proud of him."
Harbaugh said the Ravens will soon be making a roster decision on outside linebacker Malik Hamm, a Baltimore native who made the initial 53-man roster as an undrafted rookie from Lafayette. Hamm's 21-day window to return from injured reserve (ankle) expires Monday.
"That's a conversation I think [General Manager] Eric [DeCosta] and I are going to have today or tomorrow and see where we're at with that," Harbaugh said.