The Ravens are likely to be without their top two run-stuffing defensive linemen when NFL reigning rushing leader Derrick Henry comes to town this weekend, as both defensive end Calais Campbell (calf) and nose tackle Brandon Williams (ankle) are doubtful for the Ravens’ game against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium Nov. 22.
Neither player practiced this past week. Campbell would miss his second consecutive game, while Williams was injured early in the Ravens’ 23-17 loss at New England last week. With those two sidelined, the Patriots attacked the middle of the Ravens’ defense, piling up 173 rushing yards.
The Ravens (6-3) know that stopping Henry will be Job No. 1. Henry led the league with 1,540 yards in the regular season last year, and then he ran 30 times for 195 yards in the Titans’ 28-12 upset win against the Ravens in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Perhaps as a result of that loss, the Ravens made their run defense a major offseason priority, so missing their top two run-stoppers up front for this game is unfortunate timing. With Campbell and Williams likely sidelined, the Ravens again will turn to Justin Ellis and rookies Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington alongside veteran Derek Wolfe up front.
Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale said this week that stopping Henry is “a challenge no matter who you have,” adding that players “need to step up and play their role and what’s expected of them. Obviously it’s a challenge, but we’re just the men for it.”
Henry this year leads the league in carries (201) and ranks second in rushing yards (946) behind Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook (954).
On the positive side, the Ravens expect to have inside linebacker L.J. Fort back after he missed the past two games with a finger injury. He is questionable but practiced fully all week.
Cornerback Jimmy Smith, who missed the Patriots game with an ankle injury, is officially listed as questionable and was limited in practice this week.
The secondary has been ravaged by injuries this year, with five defensive backs on injured reserve. The cornerbacks currently on the 53-man roster are Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey, Smith, Tramon Williams, who has been with the team just a week, and Davontae Harris, who was claimed on waivers earlier this week but is unlikely to be available as he clears the league’s COVID protocol.
Cornerbacks Nate Brooks and Nate Hairston are on the practice squad and one could be an option as a practice squad callup.
The Ravens are also almost certain to add a tight end from the practice squad before the game, as Nick Boyle was placed on injured reserve earlier this week with a season-ending knee injury sustained against the Patriots.
Any such moves need to be made by 4 p.m. Nov. 21.
The Titans (6-3), who have lost three of their past four games, are dealing with their own major injury concerns. Like the Ravens, the Titans have lost their Pro Bowl left tackle, as Taylor Lewan is on injured reserve after tearing his ACL last month, and could be down two other starting offensive linemen as well. Left guard Rodger Saffold (ankle) has been ruled out and center Ben Jones (knee) is questionable. Jones did not practice all week.
Wide receiver Adam Humphries (22 catches for 219 yards and two touchdowns) is out with a concussion.
On defense, edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney (knee) and presumptive starting cornerback Adoree Jackson (knee), who has been activated from injured reserve but has yet to play this season, have been ruled out.
Here is the full final injury report:
DOUBTFUL: DE Calais Campbell (calf), NT Brandon Williams (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: ILB L.J. Fort (finger), CB Jimmy Smith (ankle)
OUT: OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), WR Adam Humphries (concussion), CB Adoree Jackson (knee), DL Larrell Murchison (rib), TE MyCole Pruitt (knee), G Rodger Saffold (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: C Ben Jones (knee), CB Kareem Orr (groin)
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox