After a rocky few weeks — which included 23 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list at one point as the coronavirus swept through the organization — the Ravens charged past the Dallas Cowboys in a 34-17 win Dec. 8.
Fullback Patrick Ricard, who was one of the many who tested positive for COVID-19, said the outbreak was a scary experience, but that it was a great feeling to get back on the right track against the Cowboys.
“I mean, shoot, I tested positive for COVID on Thanksgiving, so I had a great, fantastic Thanksgiving,” Ricard said in a tongue-in-cheek manner on Glenn Clark Radio Dec. 9. “And then, just everything that’s happened here in the Ravens organization is just a scary thing to go through and it’s definitely something I’ll never forget. [The] outbreak of COVID through the whole building, and in that stretch, all the craziness with the games getting moved and just going [to] all Zoom meetings, not practicing.”
“And losing three games in a row,” Ricard added. “Shoot, it felt so good to get this frickin’ win, that’s for damn sure.”
Ricard also explained that he has known since the beginning of the pandemic that the coronavirus is something that needs to be taken very seriously, as his agent lost both of their parents to COVID-19.
“For me, personally, I knew right away this thing’s real, this thing’s serious. We need to be diligent and make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect ourselves and everybody else because this thing is real,” Ricard said. “So for me getting it, thankfully I had mild symptoms, but I had just about every symptom there was. For me, to be a healthy young person and to have mild symptoms, I can understand how serious this thing is.”
Ricard was among a group of players who returned to the field against the Cowboys after testing positive for the virus. He posted two receptions for 11 yards against the Cowboys but was briefly taken out of the game with a stinger. Ricard explained he’s gotten stingers in the past and they tend to occur the same way.
“Imagine you pinch a nerve bad, like you just slam that nerve, and I don’t want to exaggerate it but it feels like you just broke your neck because it comes out of nowhere,” Ricard said. “It’s [an] instant jolt, [a] burning sensation in your neck straight down your arm, your arm goes limp, dead, numb. You just have a crazy sting of a pain in your neck.”
Another Raven who returned after a bout with the virus was reigning MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson, who played for the first time since Nov. 22 and led his team to victory. Jackson threw for 107 yards and ran for 94 yards, accounting for a total of three touchdowns.
Jackson ran 13 times, including a 37-yard touchdown.
“We have a game plan every week and it just happened [that] this game was a lot of quarterback-driven plays,” Ricard said. “It all depends on how the defense reacts or shows us for that play and it’s up to Lamar if he wants to throw the ball or keep it.”
“[Jackson] was having a lot of fun last night,” Ricard added. “It was so great to see him have fun for this game.”
Jackson also threw touchdown passes to wide receivers Miles Boykin and Marquise Brown. The Ravens recorded 401 total yards of offense (107 passing, 294 rushing) compared to 388 yards (277 passing, 111 rushing) for the Cowboys.
The 7-5 Ravens will take on the 9-3 Browns Dec. 14, and Cleveland will be hungry for revenge after Baltimore won the Week 1 matchup, 38-6.
“I personally always liked being the underdogs and for people to look at us and be like, ‘Yeah we don’t like them,'” Ricard said. “I’d rather not be an overrated team where people expect so much out of us because, then, it’s just not good when that happens. At this point in the year I’d [rather] be a dark horse than an undefeated team.”
The Ravens are out of a playoff spot as it stands now, with the Indianapolis Colts (7-5) holding the No. 7 seed in the AFC.
“When you have a three-game losing streak at this point of the year and our playoff picture is in jeopardy, every game now is a playoff game,” Ricard added. “And for us to play that way in a prime-time game in Baltimore, I think it gives our team a little more confidence and it feels good to be able to go out there and do what we had to do, especially now that we have Cleveland coming up on Monday night.”
For more from Ricard, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox