The Baltimore Ravens might be heading into their pivotal Week 16 divisional matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals without one of their top pass rushers after veteran outside linebacker Justin Houston was placed on the Reserve COVID-19 List. Thankfully, even if he doesn’t clear protocols by then, they’re getting reinforcements at the position regardless with the activation of fellow veteran edge defender Pernell McPhee.
We have activated OLB Pernell McPhee from injured reserve and placed OLB Justin Houston on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. https://t.co/z5dyXj9qrh— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 20, 2021
McPhee was placed on short-term injured reserve on Nov. 20 and hasn’t played since Week 10 but is now cleared to practice and is eligible to play this week. He has appeared in nine games this season and has recorded 14 total tackles including two for a loss, a pair of quarterback hits, and a sack. He will provide a strong edge-setting presence in the run game as well as veteran leadership on and off the field.
Houston has been a consistently disruptive force on the edge for the Ravens this season and is third on the team in sacks with 4.5. Even though he didn’t record a sack in their first game against the Bengals back in Week 7, he had several close calls and a strong overall outing with four quarterback hits and two total tackles.
McPhee’s activation reduced the Ravens league-high total of players on injured reserve by one. Unfortunately, Houston’s placement on the reserve list brings their total number of players that have tested positive to nine including those on the practice squad.