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Halftime report: Injury absences loom large for Baltimore

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NFL: International Series-Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“Next man up” is one of the most overused cliches that you’ll hear in sports, especially football. For the Baltimore Ravens who have had their share of injury issues over the past few seasons, it is one that has been echoed endlessly by the top brass around their building. Against Jacksonville, the mantra hasn’t held up as the injuries to right guard Marshal Yanda and nose tackle Brandon Williams have reared their ugly head.

The Ravens offense hasn’t been able to get anything going on the ground, or the air, and a big part of that has been an inability to clear holes on the ground or protect Joe Flacco as he tries to get something going through the air. On defense, the Jags have surprisingly been able to move the ball at will however they want, highlighting the loss of Williams in the middle of the defensive line.

Rookie running back Leonard Fournette has had a nice day against the Ravens front seven, and Blake Bortles has looked like anything but himself against a defense that has forced 10 turnovers on the season. If the Ravens are going to come back here, they’ll have to reverse that narrative very quickly.

To come back in this one, it will have to come down to the defense. A turnover or two could put Baltimore back in business, but they’ll have to make it happen fast. To get back into this one, they’ll need to stay healthy the rest of the way.