Ravens wide receiver Sammy Watkins will miss his second straight game with a hamstring injury, and running back Latavius Murray also has been ruled out for the AFC North showdown between the Ravens (5-1), winners of five straight, and the resurgent Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) at M&T Bank Stadium Oct. 24.
Watkins’ absence has been somewhat mitigated by the arrival of first-round draft pick Rashod Bateman, who made four catches for 29 yards in his first NFL game last week after missing the first five games recovering from groin surgery.
Murray had taken over as the top back in the Ravens’ remade running back corps, but he hobbled off the field during the Ravens’ 34-6 win against the Los Angeles Chargers last week and did not practice all week. He leads Ravens running backs with 59 carries for 212 yards. Quarterback Lamar Jackson paces the Ravens ground game with 64 carries for 392 yards.
In Murray’s absence, Devonta Freeman (16-95) and Le’Veon Bell (12-29), who was elevated from the practice squad to the 53-man roster this week, will assume larger roles, and Ty’Son Williams should be back in uniform after being a gameday inactive in two of the past three weeks.
Murray, Freeman and Bell all scored touchdowns in the Ravens rout of the Chargers last week.
Williams totaled 65 yards on nine carries against Las Vegas in the season opener, but his role has been sharply reduced of late. In his last two appearances, Williams totaled 28 yards on nine carries, though offensive coordinator Greg Roman said his evaluation of players goes well beyond statistics.
Along with Murray, center Bradley Bozeman (back) left the Chargers game with an injury. He was limited in practice this week and is listed as questionable, as is left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who has been dealing with a knee injury that has limited him in practice. Villanueva has started 96 consecutive games.
Cornerback Tavon Young (knee) and linebacker Patrick Queen (thigh) are also listed as questionable but are expected to play.
The Ravens have a bye next week, giving Murray, Watkins and other injured players an additional week to recover.
The Bengals, who have already matched last year’s win total and would take over the AFC North lead with a victory, come to M&T Bank Stadium healthy, with just two players listed as questionable.
Here is the full, final injury report:
OUT: RB Latavius Murray (ankle), WR Sammy Watkins (thigh)
QUESTIONABLE: C Bradley Bozeman (back), ILB Patrick Queen (thigh), T Alejandro Villanueva (knee), CB Tavon Young (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Jalen Davis (ankle), DT Tyler Shelvin (illness)
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