The Baltimore Ravens struggled mightily on offensive in their Week 1 loss to the Denver Broncos and will be without two players from that side of the ball when they meet up with the Oakland Raiders on September 20.
The Ravens fell to the Broncos 19-13 as they totaled just 190 yards of offense. A big reason Baltimore’s offense struggled was due to the loss of starting left tackle Eugene Monroe (concussion) during the Ravens’ first offensive series.
CSN Mid-Atlanic‘s Clifton Brown is reporting that Monroe was officially ruled out of the Ravens’ game against the Raiders, which could be very problematic for the Ravens.
Following Monroe’s departure, Baltimore’s offensive line surrendered two sacks and allowed quarterback Joe Flacco to get hit 17 times. Second year pro James Hurst, who replaced Monroe and right tackle Rick Wagner, were the biggest culprits, as they were consistently beat on outside moves by DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller. Hurst was responsible for Flacco being hurried seven times — which was a league-high for Week 1.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh told Brown that Hurst, who will get the start against Oakland, and Wagner must be better as the Raiders feature quality pass rushers with Khalil Mack, Justin Tuck and Aldon Smith.
“Our tackles, they have to do a better job.They have to set square, and they have to punch on time. And when they do that, they’ll do well against anybody, and when you don’t do that, you’re not going to do well against anybody.”
This will be the sixth game that Monroe has missed since signing a five-year, $37.5 million contract and while Hurst doesn’t project as a starting left tackle according to ESPN, he has fared decently well in his starts. Baltimore was 4-2 in games Hurst, who went undrafted in 2014 out of North Carolina, started last year — which includes two playoff games.
“I think James [Hurst] is a very good player,” offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said. “I watched him play last year against New England in a [divisional playoff] game, so he has had the experience. He has played in the big games. We faced two really good players last week; our guys recognize that. And all of us weren’t at our best. We recognize that, but now it’s on to the Raiders. We’ve spent time [preparing], we’ve taken notice of the things we have to do better, and we’re working on that this week to get it done on Sunday.”
Baltimore will also be without wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee), the team’s first round pick this year out of Central Florida, for the second straight week. Perriman hasn’t practiced since suffering a sprained PCL on the first day of training camp. The 6-foot-2, 218-pounder is considered to be the Ravens’ most physically gifted receiver.
Recently signed defensive end Jason Babin has shown enough in his three practices this week to convince Harbough that he can play against the Raiders, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Babin, who is his 12th NFL season, will likely be used as a situational pass rusher behind starters Elvis Dumervil and Courtney Upshaw.
In other injury news: Cornerback Rashaan Melvin (thigh) and rookie wide receiver Darren Waller (ankle) are listed as questionable, while running back Justin Forsett (shoulder), defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (knee), and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (knee) are probable.
[photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]