Baltimore (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens have 13 players on injured reserve and were without their three best offensive linemen in Green Bay last weekend.
Taking advantage of the mistakes of an inexperienced quarterback, the Ravens won easily 23-0.
During an NFL season marred by injuries to key players, Baltimore (5-5) has found a way to remain in the middle of the AFC playoff hunt — in part by capitalizing on its opponent’s woes.
Miami starting quarterback Jay Cutler, Oakland’s Derek Carr and Green Bay star Aaron Rodgers were all sidelined with injuries in games the Ravens won handily. And now, on Monday night, Baltimore faces a Houston (4-6) team left to depend on its backup quarterback.
Rookie Deshaun Watson had the Houston offense humming, throwing for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns before a torn ACL abruptly ended his season earlier this month. Backup Tom Savage stumbled through two straight defeats before rebounding last week to help Houston beat Arizona. He’s played in only 10 games; Baltimore starter Joe Flacco has been at it for 10 years.
“It is very important to adjust to injuries in the National Football League, no doubt,” coach John Harbaugh said. “Probably over the last four years, five years even, we have probably had more than our fair share of practice at it. But our guys don’t flinch, they don’t bat an eye.”
It helps that Flacco has started all 10 games for the Ravens despite sitting out the entire preseason with a back injury.
“He’s held up very well,” Harbaugh said. “That has been good for us.”