OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens have ruled out three players and listed a potential rookie starter as questionable for the 2020 season opener against Cleveland on Sunday.
Wide receiver Chris Moore (finger), running back Justice Hill (thigh), and defensive tackle Justin Madubuike (knee) won’t play in Week 1 after missing the entire week of practice with injuries sustained during training camp. One of Baltimore’s better special teams contributors, Moore hasn’t practiced since breaking a finger the week before the start of full-team workouts in mid-August. Hill, listed as the top kick returner on the unofficial depth chart, has had two different injury stints since the start of open training camp.
“Chris is a very experienced special teams player, but he hasn’t been with us for a couple weeks,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “We knew we were going to have to adapt to him not being there this week, and we’ll see for next week. But it does open the door for some younger guys. The same thing with Justice.”
With Moore and Hill both out, the Ravens could elevate veteran safety Jordan Richards from the practice squad to help out on special teams for Sunday. Teams are now permitted to elevate up to two players from the practice squad to play in games without having to place them on the 53-man roster.
Friday brought good news for rookie offensive lineman Tyre Phillips, who was a full practice participant after sitting out Thursday with an ankle injury. The third-round pick from Mississippi State is officially listed as questionable for Week 1 and is believed to be the favorite to start at right guard, the position previously held by the retired Marshal Yanda. The 6-foot-5, 330-pound Phillips had a strong finish to training camp after veteran newcomer D.J. Fluker entered the summer as the favorite at right guard.
Meanwhile, the Browns are in worse shape from an injury standpoint as two of their top three cornerbacks — Greedy Williams and Kevin Johnson — and starting outside linebacker Mack Wilson were officially declared out on Friday. Cleveland listed starting center JC Tretter as questionable after he practiced all week on a limited basis in his return from August knee surgery.
Asked about Sunday’s national anthem in the wake of how Houston and Kansas City handled the pre-game on Thursday, Harbaugh said his team will be on the field for the anthem with players electing whether to be “standing or kneeling or clasping or whatever guys choose to do.” The organization collaborated to come to that consensus, and owner Steve Bisciotti recently met with the player leadership committee to share plans for the organization’s social justice and racial equality initiatives.
“We’re just choosing to let everyone do what they choose to do,” said safety Chuck Clark about players’ plans for the anthem. “We all come from different backgrounds. A lot of us have different experiences. Some of us, we can’t relate to what others have been through, so we’re letting every guy do what they choose to do on their own. And we all respect that and understand that. Just as a family, we respect what everyone does, so we’re allowing guys to do what they choose to do and we’re not making anyone do anything they don’t want to do.”
According to Weather.com, the Sunday forecast in Baltimore calls for mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 80s with a 20 percent chance of a thunderstorm and winds five to 10 miles per hour.
The Ravens also put together this wonderful tribute to the late Mo Gaba, the 14-year-old Baltimore superfan who died of cancer in late July:
For Mo. 💜 pic.twitter.com/7G1zH4qj2n
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 11, 2020
Below is the final injury report for Week 1:
OUT: RB Justice Hill (thigh), DT Justin Madubuike (knee), WR Chris Moore (finger),
QUESTIONABLE: G Tyre Phillips (ankle)
OUT: OT Chris Hubbard (ankle), CB Kevin Johnson (liver), CB Greedy Williams (shoulder), LB Mack Wilson (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB M.J. Stewart Jr. (hamstring), C JC Tretter (knee)