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Report: Mark Andrews “not likely to play” in season opener

The Pro Bowl tight end might not be suiting up in Week 1 despite being listed as questionable

NFL: Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens might be without the services of their top offensive weapon against the Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon.

According to reports from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, three-time Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews is “not likely to play” in Week 1.

The sixth-year veteran and former First-Team All-Pro has been dealing with a lingering quad injury for the past few weeks. He was listed as questionable to play on the final injury report after being a limited participant in practice all week leading up to the opener.

If Andrews winds up being downgraded to out in the hours before the game, the Ravens will still be in good shape at the tight end position.

Fortunately, they have a pair of talented second-year tight ends in Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar. They were selected in the fourth round of last year’s NFL draft and are exciting playmakers in their own right. Likely was one of the brightest stars of the 2022 preseason and showed several promising flashes during the regular season.

He impressively filled in for Andrews at times last year including making a pair of starts, the second of which came in the regular season finale. He recorded his first game of 100 or more receiving yards on a career-high eight catches.

Kolar missed most of his rookie season while he recovered from a sports hernia surgery that he underwent early in training camp. However, he looks poised to contribute with a noticeably bulkier frame coming off a strong 2023 preseason.

The team will also lean more on their revamped wide receiver depth chart if Andrews can’t suit up. A lot of eyes were already going to be focused on first-round rookie Zay Flowers and three-time Pro Bowl veteran Odell Beckham Jr. They could possibly be in store for an even increased target share if this report proves to be true.

In other roster-related news, the Ravens announced that they have activated veterans Sam Mustipher and Daryl Worley for their season opener against the Texans.

Mustipher will serve as the primary backup to second-year pro Tyler Linderbaum at center. Worley will provide depth at both safety and cornerback in addition to being a staple on several special teams units. They both come with 40 or more career starts under their belts and are experienced and capable reserves.