The Baltimore Ravens have seen a number of key players miss time due to injuries over the past couple seasons. No absence has been more prominent than star quarterback Lamar Jackson, though, who was unavailable for the final five games of both 2021 and 2022.
The Ravens won just two of these contests without Jackson in the lineup, reinforcing his status as the team’s most important player. Aside from the franchise signal-caller, however, which other Ravens’ player profiles as the most indispensable?
According to CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin, rising sophomore Tyler Linderbaum is that individual for the 2023 season. Benjamin recently listed one player, a non-quarterback, that each team cannot afford to lose this upcoming campaign. Last year’s No. 25 overall pick was his choice for Baltimore.
“New WR Odell Beckham Jr. is already an injury risk, but Lamar Jackson’s chief concern in 2023 is staying on the field,” Benjain wrote. “Linderbaum was an underrated rookie cog up front, and he’s instrumental to their ground attack as the QB of the line.”
Linderbaum is in fact instrumental the Ravens’ rushing attack up front and after a strong rookie season, another step forward in Year 2 is realistic. He earned All-Rookie team recognition and started all 17 games, grading out highly particularly as a run-blocker.
The Ravens lost depth behind Linderbaum in free agency when Trystan Colon signed with the New York Jets. While Patrick Mekari is a qualified backup option, he’s also the team’s immediate step-in option at both guard and tackle as well. Therefore, Linderbaum’s availability now becomes only more important this upcoming season
You could make a case for other players like Ronnie Stanley, Mark Andrews, or Marlon Humphrey as especially indispensable, as well. Humphrey in particular is a strong honorable mention given the question marks at cornerback beyond him.