OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- In the midst of another COVID-19 outbreak, the Baltimore Ravens were down to 13 defensive players from their 53-man roster at Wednesday's practice.
"You go from the beginning of the season with our roster to right now, I don't know if we're playing football or the 'Squid Game,'" Ravens defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale said Thursday.
While it might seem like Baltimore is in the middle of that Korean survival horror-drama series, the Ravens are actually preparing for a battle for first place in the AFC North, albeit short-handed.
Heading into Sunday's game at the Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore has nine defenders on the reserve/COVID-19 list: outside linebackers Justin Houston and Pernell McPhee; inside linebackers Chris Board and Kristian Welch; cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Chris Westry; safeties Chuck Clark and Geno Stone; and defensive tackle Justin Madubuike.
Martindale acknowledged the situation has been "unsettling."
"But it's one of those things that people don't care about your problems," he said.
Martindale added, "It's a challenge but it's one that we've gotten used to from last year and we're doing it again this year."
Last season, the Ravens placed 23 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list in a two-week period.
In addition to issues related to COVID, the Baltimore defense has lost three starters to injury (cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters along with safety DeShon Elliott) and has two key players currently on the injury report (defensive end Calais Campbell and cornerback Tavon Young).