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Ravens place OLB Pernell McPhee on Reserve COVID List; sign CB Daryl Worley to practice squad

Well that was fast.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Pernell McPhee’s stay on the active roster didn’t even last a full day. After being activated from injured reserve on Monday, the 11-year veteran edge defender now finds himself joining Justin Houston on the COVID-19 Reserve List. Houston tested positive on the same day McPhee was cleared to return to practice and deemed eligible to play. But now both are in jeopardy of missing the team’s pivotal divisional matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 16.

McPhee’s addition increases the Ravens’ total number of players on the Reserve list to 10 including those on the practice squad that have tested positive in the last week. If neither veteran can clear the protocols by Sunday then the Ravens will have to lean heavily on fifth-year pro Tyus Bowser and rookie Odafe Oweh to play the vast majority of the total defensive snaps. Third-year pro Jaylon Ferguson will likely see increased snaps on early downs to help stop the run and in obvious passing situations as an extra pass rusher. Second-year inside linebacker Malik Harrison could also take some snaps on the edge this week since he has been practicing there as well.

Another potential option could be rookie Daelin Hayes who Head Coach John Harbaugh said was close to returning last week. The fifth-rounder out of Notre Dame has been on injured reserve since Sept. 27 with a knee injury he suffered in the team’s Week 3 win over the Detroit Lions.

In some positive roster-related news, the Ravens brought in reinforcements for their severely depleted secondary by signing veteran cornerback Daryl Worley to the practice squad. Between injuries and now an outbreak of COVID variants throughout the league, the stable of viable defensive backs in Baltimore has been significantly diminished as was made evident in key situations this past Sunday in a narrow 31-30 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

While no one is anointing Worley as the savior of the secondary, adding the former third-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2016 out of West Virginia is a smart move by General Manager Eric DeCosta. He adds much-needed quality depth and experience to the position group having made 54 starts in six seasons. He most recently played for the Lions earlier this season where he appeared in three games before being released on Oct. 26.