Three weeks remain in the regular season, and the AFC North is tremendously close, even by the division’s usual standards.
Cincinnati is equal to Baltimore in terms of overall record, but the home team has the advantage when it comes to the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The Ravens, as of Wednesday evening, have a total of 15 players dealing with COVID, 11 from the active roster and four from the practice squad. This includes Justin Houston, Justin Madubuike, Jimmy Smith, and Sammy Watkins. Chidobe Awuzie remains the lone Bengal dealing with the virus.
As for the players on the active rosters, both teams had a handful of players miss practice on Wednesday. Khalid Kareem (concussion), D.J. Reader (knee), Drew Sample (foot), and Logan Wilson (shoulder) did not practice for Cincinnati.
Kareem is in the concussion protocol and, in all likelihood, will remain there for the entire week. He isn’t expected to play Sunday along with Wilson.
Reader and Sample’s respective injuries are new pieces of information and the severity of them are unknown. Reader did tweet out he’s good, though.
Lol yall chill im good— Dj Reader (@Djread98) December 22, 2021
Sample not playing would easier to digest if Mitchell Wilcox can go, but Wilcox was limited with a toe injury. Hakeem Adeniji (ankle) was limited as well. If Adeniji can play, I’d lean towards him starting at right guard over Jackson Carman as of now.
Finally, the two Joes, Burrow and Mixon, practiced in full Wednesday. Burrow had been using Wednesdays as his rest day for his right pinkie the last two weeks, so him working for what will hopefully be a full week is a sign of progress.
Mixon’s knee injury didn’t look too great when it occurred on Sunday, but Zac Taylor was optimistic about it and sure enough, he looks to be fine.
The big news for the Ravens is at the quarterback spot. Lamar Jackson (ankle) did not practice to begin the week after missing the last two weeks with the same injury. Jackson’s status isn’t likely to be revealed until Sunday, so projecting anything before then is fruitless. WR Devin Duvernay (ankle), RT Tyre Phillips (knee), LG Ben Powers (foot), CB Tavon Young (concussion), and NT Brandon Williams (rest) also did not practice.
FB Patrick Ricard (knee), DT Calais Campbell (thigh), TE Nick Boyle (knee), and Patrick Mekari (hand) were all limited.