It looks like if the host Baltimore Ravens are to get past the upset-minded Houston Texans in their AFC divisional playoff game on Saturday, they’ll have to do it without star tight end Mark Andrews.
The three-time Pro Bowler was originally expected to miss the rest of the season after going down with an ankle injury in Week 11. Soon afterward, however, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said there was an “outside chance” that Andrews could return in the playoffs.
The Oklahoma product was designated to return to practice last week and on Thursday was labeled as questionable for the contest.
Andrews was limited to a career-low 10 games this season, missing Week 1 as well with a quad injury.
The Ravens won at home against the Texans in Week 1 by a score of 25-9, but they did it mostly on the strength of their rushing attack.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson finished 17-of-22 for 169 passing yards (second lowest of the campaign) and it was one of only four contests all year when the MVP candidate had no touchdown passes. Jackson had one interception, was sacked four times (which tied a season-high), fumbled twice and rushed six times for 38 yards.
The Ravens’ 110 rushing yards were spread out evenly, with Jackson leading the team and Gus Edwards carrying eight times for 32 yards. J.K. Dobbins produced eight carries for 22 yards and one touchdown, wideout Zay Flowers had two rushing attempts for nine yards and Justice Hall carried eight times for nine yards and two scores.
Second-year player Isaiah Likely filled in for Andrews at tight end and posted only one catch for four yards on one target, as Flowers was Jackson’s favorite receiver that afternoon. Likely played behind Andrews from Weeks 2-11, but then when the former All-Pro went down in November, the youngster stepped up.
He had all five of his touchdown receptions between Weeks 12-18 and had at least five catches or 50 receiving yards in three straight games from Weeks 14-16.
Despite missing seven games, Andrews still finished the regular season with the most touchdown catches on the team (six).