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Ravens place FB Patrick Ricard on IR and TE Nick Boyle on COVID-19/Reserve list

Baltimore’s offense will likely be without two of their best blockers in the season finale.

Detroit Lions v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The already embattled Baltimore Ravens might be without the services of two of their best blockers in another must-win matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 18.

On Thursday, they placed three-time Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard on injured reserve and veteran tight end Nick Boyle on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

Ricard made his return to the lineup last week against the Los Angeles Rams and played 28 offensive snaps after missing the previous three games with a knee injury. He will miss this Sunday’s game and even if the Ravens are able to make the playoffs, he wouldn’t be eligible to return until the AFC Championship game at the earliest. He was also placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list but it is of no real consequence from a roster standpoint, since he is likely done for the year.

Boyle has had a rough first season back after a major knee injury ended his 2020 season. His 2021 debut was delayed until Week 11 because of a couple of setbacks and overcautiousness by the team during his rehabilitation process. While he’s only been limited to five games this season, when healthy, he is still one of if not the best blocking tight end in the entire league.

The seven-year veteran played 40 percent of the total offensive snaps in his first game back but has played in less than 30 percent of the other four games that he appeared in. He still could have a chance to play against the Steelers depending on if he is asymptomatic and can clear protocols in enough time. If he doesn’t play he will have finished the season with just one catch for two yards on two targets in 95 total offensive snaps.

The Ravens need all the blocking help they can get with the Steelers ferocious and fearsome defensive front coming to town coming off a nine-sack performance against the Cleveland Browns in Week 17.

Spearheading the charge for Pittsburgh’s pass rush will again be four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker T.J. Watt. He leads the league with a career-high 21.5 sacks and will be looking to make history, as he is just one sack shy of tying Michael Strahan’s all-time single-season record and 1.5 away from breaking it.