Bengals down several players to COVID-19, illness just before kickoff vs. Ravens

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Matthew Stevens
·1 min read
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The Baltimore Ravens will take on the Cincinnati Bengals at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday — just a few hours away. But with the Bengals having one player test positive for COVID-19 and another showing symptoms, the coronavirus is looking to make Week 17 a wild one once again.

On Saturday morning, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Cincinnati defensive tackle Mike Daniels had tested positive for COVID-19 while another player was showing symptoms. By Sunday, the Bengals had ruled out both Daniels and cornerback Mackensie Alexander due to illness, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. With Cincinnati already ruling out cornerback William Jackson III and linebacker Logan Wilson on the injury report, further losses will only make this regular-season finale harder on the 4-10-1 Bengals.

So many impact players missing this game due to either injury or COVID-19 is a big blow for Cincinnati. While the Bengals didn’t have anything to play for but pride and a potential playoff-spoiler role, finishing strong would be a good end to what has been a difficult rebuilding season for a young roster and coach.

On the flip side, the absence of those players is a big boost for the Ravens, who are in a must-win situation this week, needing to win to guarantee themselves a playoff berth. With Baltimore’s offense performing much better in recent weeks, the absence of a starting defensive lineman and two starting cornerbacks should give the Ravens a better opportunity to get out to a comfortable lead early, where they play their best football.

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