Derek Wolfe has been a durable player during his NFL career, playing in at least 14 games in five of his first eight seasons. However, the veteran defensive end will miss his third game this season (back/hip) and the defense has missed his leadership and physical presence as a run-stopper.
Asked about Wolfe's progress Friday, Head Coach John Harbaugh did not give a specific timetable for his return.
"I think he's progressing well," Harbaugh said. "He's got some back things. That's basically what it is. Time, it's hard to determine."
Players have been shuttling in and out of the lineup all season, and not having Wolfe is just one of many challenges the Ravens have faced. However, Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale saw the defense rise to the occasion against the Kansas City Chiefs, holding them scoreless on their final three possessions. Martindale is hoping the defense will pick up where it left off Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
"I liked the first three quarters against the Raiders, and I liked the fourth quarter against the Chiefs, so we've just got to put it together for four quarters and have a complete game," Martindale said. "We played 20 guys in that Chiefs game – off the roster – and it's a credit to the assistants, and it's a credit to the players that, with the way our system works, we can fit people in and out of our system and make it work."
Patrick Queen Sets High Standards for His Play
Though he finished third in the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting in 2020, Patrick Queen entered this season motivated to become a better inside linebacker. It's still early in the season, but Queen says he's still searching for more consistency, even though his overall play has been good.
"I feel like I'm pretty good. I could be way better, though," Queen said. "I'm always looking to improve; I'm always looking to grind it out and try to be the best that I could be. So, I feel like right now, it's good. I'm probably at 85% confident that it looks good to other people and looks good to my coaches and stuff, but I feel like there's still a lot more that I can do and make plays on."
Becoming a better tackler is one area Queen is focusing on. He has the speed to make plays that other linebackers can't, but when he arrives at the ballcarrier, he wants his technique to improve.
"I missed two tackles that I shouldn't have missed (against Kansas City)," Queen said. "Just wrapping up – that's all I've got to do."
Queen said the entire defense wants to make a statement starting in Week 3. The Ravens' first two opponents have scored at least 30 points, and Queen wants that trend to stop.
"We've just got to lock in, stay focused and just eliminate the small mistakes, and that's just from communication," Queen said. "All we've got to do is communicate, and we'll cancel all that stuff out. That's the biggest key. We all know that, we've all been talking about it, [and] that's what we've been focused on – just communicating."
D'Anton Lynn Will See His Father on Opposite Sideline Sunday
One of the storylines of Sunday's Ravens-Lions matchup is Lions Offensive Coordinator Anthony Lynn coaching against his son, Ravens Defensive Backs Coach D'Anton Lynn. Harbaugh knows what it's like to coach against family, having coached against this brother, Jim Harbaugh, when the Ravens won their last Super Bowl.
Harbaugh knows D'Anton will deal with special emotions during Sunday's game, matching wits against his father.
"I'm sure it's very meaningful, you can imagine," Harbaugh said. "D'Anton has been in the league for a few years now, and of course Anthony is one of the most respected coaches in the National Football League. I think it's really cool. Now they're going against each other with matching wits – offense and defense. I'm rooting for the kid, man. Definitely."