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Amidst Zach Ertz Speculation, Ravens to 'Roll With' Their Current Tight Ends

TE Isaiah Likely
TE Isaiah Likely

Since Zach Ertz was released by the Arizona Cardinals last week, there's been speculation about him possibly landing in Baltimore.

Ertz wants to join a contender and the Ravens lost Mark Andrews possibly for the rest of the season due to an ankle injury. Makes sense, right?

Judging by what Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday, Ertz to Baltimore doesn't sound likely to happen.

"Any time a great player is out there, you sure look at it," Harbaugh said. "But I would say this about that right now: we like our tight ends. We really like our guys.

"The guys we have right now, our young guys, they're real guys. They're real players. I think right now we'll just roll with those guys."

Second-year tight ends Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar stepped up in the first game without Andrews last Sunday against the Chargers. Likely led the Ravens with four catches for 40 yards, showing his burst and run after catch ability.

Harbaugh also brought up the possibility that the Ravens get Andrews back at some point later this season, perhaps in the playoffs. Andrews had ankle surgery on Nov. 21.

"I'm not ruling out Mark Andrews for down the road, future," Harbaugh said. "Mark is so darn tough. Mark is one of those guys that really and truly eats, sleeps and breathes football. That's Mark Andrews. He's going to do everything that he can to get back down the road."

Ravens Have 'A Lot of Optimism' on Marlon Humphrey, Justin Madubuike

Two Ravens defensive leaders, cornerback Marlon Humphrey and defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, could return to the field following the bye.

Humphrey has missed the past two games and Madubuike departed the game in Los Angeles early.

"They're looking pretty good right now," Harbaugh said. "On Wednesday, we'll probably have a more definitive type of an answer, but I'd say right now there's a lot of optimism."

Keaton Mitchell Feels Fresh for Stretch Run

Keaton Mitchell has added major juice to the Ravens' rushing attack, averaging 9.3 yards per carry since joining the running back rotation four games ago.

The undrafted rookie running back spent the first five games of the season on injured reserve (shoulder), so while he enjoyed having time off last week, Mitchell didn't feel like he needed a rest. His body and legs feel fresh heading into the final five games, and that could help the speedy running back produce even more big plays down the stretch.

"I feel like I'm fine – we were talking about the rookie wall this morning, but I don't feel like I'm nowhere near the rookie wall," Mitchell said. "I'm healthy. Mentally I'm good. Hopefully we finish these five games strong."

Mitchell hasn't carried the ball more than nine times in any game, and in addition to his speed, he's shown a ability to break tackles and gain yards after being hit. The Ravens lead the league in rushing, averaging 158.6 yards per game, and Mitchell is looking forward to his first taste of NFL football in December.

"Hopefully I can just keep on going, put all the past games behind me, hopefully just keep on going," Mitchell said. "We've got a lot ahead of us. December football, there's a lot at stake. We know what we're trying to do."

John Harbaugh Has No Option But to Root Against Joe Flacco

Having a bye weekend gave Harbaugh a chance to watch football from home, and he felt like a fan, rooting against AFC North rivals Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Both the Steelers and Browns lost on Sunday, which made Harbaugh happy. While he will always share a bond with former Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, Harbaugh had no problem rooting against Flacco, who made in his debut as the Browns' quarterback.

"You root against all the teams that are in your way. So, that's what we did," Harbaugh said. "We had a good day."

"I was rooting against Joe and the Browns. I think Joe's cool. It's cool what he did, he looked really good, but I couldn't root for him yesterday."

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