Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh has some optimism, but not a lot, that three-time Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews could return this season from a left leg injury.
The Ravens thought Andrews’ season was over after he sustained what was reported as a cracked fibula and ankle ligament damage during a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last Thursday.
Andrews was injured on Baltimore’s opening drive when he was tackled awkwardly by Logan Wilson at the Cincinnati 4. The Ravens ruled him out for the night soon after and feared he was out for the season.
Harbough told reporters on Monday that tests on the ankle sparked optimism that Andrews has an “outside chance” to play again this season. The coach said that Andrews, 28, is being evaluated this week by foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C.
“Nothing is completely definitive yet, but my understanding is in talking with our trainer and the doctors is that it wasn’t as bad as initially feared right after the game,” Harbaugh said.
“… It wasn’t as bad as it could have been. It’s a little cleaner than they thought, based on the MRI. He’s going to be involved with Dr. Anderson down there in Charlotte in the next few days. We’ll know more, but there might be an outside chance he could get back at some point in time. We’ll just have to see how that goes. I don’t want to say that’s definitive by any stretch, but there is some optimism.”
The Ravens (8-3) lead the AFC North and may need to make a deep postseason run to give Andrews more time to recover.
Isaiah Likely, a fourth-round pick in 2022, has just nine catches this season but is expected to see a larger workload in Andrews’ absence.
A sixth-year pro, Andrews leads Baltimore with six receiving touchdowns this season and has 45 catches for 544 yards in 10 games.
“Mark is such a competitor, such a talent. He’s a superstar player,” Harbaugh said. “We have to replace him together as a group. I really believe we can do it.”
His 40 career touchdown receptions are one shy of the franchise record set by fellow tight end Todd Heap from 2001-10.
A third-round pick out of Oklahoma in 2018, Andrews has 381 receptions for 4,857 yards in 87 games (42 starts). He made the Pro Bowl in 2019, 2021 and 2022 and was first-team All-Pro in 2021 with 107 catches for 1,361 yards and nine touchdowns.