OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With the Ravens on a roll here comes the first division game of the season.
"The AFC, this is really the game to figure out where it’s going to go, who is kind of going to be in that front. So, it’s a big game for us," said cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
The Ravens (5-1), winners of five consecutive games, get the Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) on Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium. As opposed to the last few years, Cincy is a threat. They have much improved defense and one of the best QB-receiver combinations in the NFL in Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. The rookie wideout, drafted fifth overall, has over 553 receiving yards on 27 catches with 5 touchdowns.
"He has really made the NFL look pretty easy," said Humphrey.
"He is playing like a veteran guy," said head coach John Harbaugh. "I think he is averaging 24 yards an attempt on his deep routes."
As for the Ravens offense, Lamar Jackson is coming off a 167 yard, one TD, 2 interception performance against the Chargers. It was his worst game of the year statistically. He was okay with it for a single reason.
"I was good. We won. We got the 'W'. I wasn’t mad," he laughed. "I’m mad about the interceptions but that was it. I don’t think I played bad."
Lamar got a teammate back at practice Wednesday in the tight end group. Nick Boyle took the field as he was designated to return from injured reserve. He now has a 21-day window before he is required to be activated to the 53-man roster. Boyle suffered a major knee injury last November and has not played this year.
Ronnie Stanley played only one game this year and that will be it for him. The Pro Bowl left tackle had another ankle surgery on Tuesday which will cause him to miss the rest of the season.
(1)As I sit here in my hospital bed post surgery, I have a lot of mixed emotions. On one hand I’m angry, sad, upset, depressed knowing things could’ve been different. I should be gearing up for our superbowl run but instead I’m back in the same hospital I was in almost a year ago— Ronnie Stanley (@megatronnie) October 20, 2021
Stanley suffered his ankle injury on November 1 of last year. He returned for the season-opener against Las Vegas before being sidelined again.
"It just didn’t work out, I guess is the best way I can explain it," said Harbaugh. "The target would be next season. Having [the surgery] done now as opposed to after the season probably helps."
Running back Latavius Murray and center Bradley Bozeman were among those who missed practice on Wednesday. Harbaugh said they are monitoring Murray’s ankle sprain, while Bozeman’s back injury is day-to-day.