OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens held a full practice on Friday. It was their first in the two weeks since the team was decimated by a COVID-19 outbreak.
They are, however, getting healthier. Running back J.K. Dobbins, linebacker Pernell McPhee and offensive linemen Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura were all activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday. But the team's most important weapon remains on it.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson is in jeopardy of missing a second consecutive game. He’s eligible to come off the team’s COVID list this weekend but that doesn’t mean he’ll suit up on Tuesday against the Dallas Cowboys.
If Jackson doesn’t play, Trace McSorley is expected to make his first NFL start after replacing and injured Robert Griffin III in Wednesday's loss to the Steelers.
"It was just good to get back out there with the guys, kind of get in the huddle, be around guys in a game setting and kind of just get that feeling again, get the adrenaline going," said McSorley.
That adrenaline peaked after the 25-year-old former Penn State star tossed his first pro touchdown, a pass to Marquise Brown that went for 70 yards.
"Once I got in there and knew the game plan I felt comfortable," he said.
"He made a great read on the touchdown throw there, understood how the Steelers play that coverage and recognized the coverage and made the throw," said Head Coach John Harbaugh.
"He has developed. He has grown in the offense. He understands the offense."
"He has come in with the mentality and the poise to lead a team and lead an offense," added offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. "I’ve always felt as though he was capable of coming in and playing at a high level."
Of course if McSorley plays, one of the guys he’ll be targeting is receiver Dez Bryant. Bryant is set to face the same Cowboys franchise that cultivated him into one of the best receivers in the NFL. He spent eight years in Dallas where he was an All-Pro and Pro Bowler. His 73 touchdowns while with the Cowboys is a team record.
"Dez has just brought a great energy, a great attitude to the team," said McSorley. "Since he got here really it’s like the competition kind of turned up. Looking forward to being able to get him a little bit more involved where we can."
Back to the COVID situation, tight end Mark Andrews, a Type-1 diabetic, is one of the players who tested positive. Brown Jr., one of his best friends on the team, said both Andrews and Jackson are feeling well.
In other injury news, the Ravens placed Griffin III (thigh) on injured reserve.