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News & Notes: Offensive Line, Tight End Injuries Add to Challenge of Game-Planning

Left: G Tyre Phillips; Center: DL/FB Pat Ricard; Right: TE Nick Boyle

This is another week of game-planning around injuries for Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman.

Not only is Lamar Jackson's status uncertain for Sunday, but a group of offensive linemen are dealing with injuries, including Tyre Phillips (illness), Alejandro Villanueva (knee) and Ben Powers (foot). Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard (knee/back) and tight end Nick Boyle (knee) are also still dealing with injuries.

However, the Ravens (8-5) don't make excuses, and Roman will spend the week making adjustments.

"It's just part of it – don't even blink," Roman said. "You just coach the guys that are out there. Afterwards, we get inside and that's when we really coach the guys off the film that weren't at practice to get them caught up. It is what it is, as they say, and it's our job to make it work."

Ricard missed his first game of the season on Sunday, and his superb blocking ability is a key component in Baltimore's attack. Ricard's knee injury was added to the report on Saturday, but wasn't ruled out until Sunday morning.

"It definitely changed things a little bit, but we adjusted accordingly," Roman said. "It was a late thing in the week. Those things happen. You'd rather have it happen late in the week than on the second play. So, in that regard, we had a little forewarning that the possibility existed. We really didn't know until about two hours before, though.

"Especially players like those guys (Ricard and Boyle), when you take them out of the equation, you really aren't going to do the same stuff that you would with them in there. Now, you can't just invent a new offense all of a sudden, because that would scramble everybody's brains. But we definitely have directions we can go in when things like that happen."

Experience has taught Roman to prepare for losing any player without warning. That's something that has helped him deal with Baltimore's multitude of injuries this season.

"I learned that the hard way one year when I was a young coordinator," Roman said. "I had all my eggs in a basket, and then on one play, two guys went down. Now, all of a sudden, I'm looking at my call sheet and I just see everything falling off the page. I said to myself, 'Never again.'

"You have to understand that things like this are going to happen. It tends to happen in bunches, for whatever reason, and this is one of those years. But I love the guys, I love their attitude. We have everything we need to get it done."

Huntley and Jackson Have Subtle Differences

Not knowing if Jackson or Huntley will start at quarterback makes this an interesting week. While the two quarterbacks have similarities, Roman takes their differences into consideration when preparing a game plan and calling plays.

Huntley is getting ample practice reps this week, which should help him if he starts Sunday's game. Against the Chicago Bears, Huntley didn't know if Jackson would be too ill until Sunday morning. Against the Browns last weekend, Huntley entered the game cold in the second quarter after Jackson suffered a sprained ankle.

"There are definitely some subtleties – very similar, but some subtle differences," Roman said.

"The Chicago game was a great instance, that was like 90 minutes before. So, you start shuffling your papers a little bit when that happens, it's vital to be out here in practice with them, , and we've had plenty of opportunity with Tyler to really get a feel for what he likes and what direction we want to go. So, I think we've had ample opportunity for that with him; we've been very fortunate in that regard."

Roman Discusses Fourth-Down Play in Cleveland That Was Stopped Short

After recovering an onside kick late in Sunday's game against Cleveland, the Ravens had a chance to drive for a game-winning field goal. However, the drive stalled on fourth down, when Huntley completed a pass to Rashod Bateman, who was tackled immediately for a 2-yard gain, well short of the first down on 4th-and-6.

Cleveland blitzed on the play and forced Huntley to throw the ball quickly to Bateman, a hot receiver. But without going into detail, Roman said the Ravens did not execute the play exactly how it was designed.

"Rashod did a good job," Roman said. "The play really didn't play out the way we envisioned it, and that's something we have to get corrected. None of us were really happy about the outcome there."

Packers O-Line Injuries Could Pave Way for Ravens Pass Rush

Green Bay's offensive line has had trouble staying healthy this season, and four of their five preferred starters did not play during their victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

They hope to get left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) and right tackle Billy Turner (knee) back against the Ravens, but the Ravens hope to get pressure on Rodgers regardless of who's trying to protect him.

Baltimore has just one sack during its last two games and hopes to get the pass rush back on track. Rodgers has only been sacked 24 times in 410 passing attempts, despite playing with a toe injury, so he's not easy to get to. But the Ravens at least want to throw off Rodgers' timing if they can't bring him to the ground.

"[We're trying to] not get too down on ourselves, regardless of if we are getting sacks or not," outside linebacker Tyus Bowser said. "[We're focused on] getting the quarterback off his mark, just getting as many pressures and just helping us get off the field as a defense."

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