Key injuries could impact pivotal Bengals-Ravens TNF game

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Thursday’s matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens is a pivotal divisional matchup that could determine the winner of the AFC North. ‘It feels like a playoff game in November,’ Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said in the leadup to the primetime matchup. But neither team will be at full strength.

The Bengals (5-4) and Ravens (7-3) are both coming off of walk-off Week 10 losses and are looking to bounce back on Thursday, but both are facing injuries. Several key players, including one of the Bengals’ top wide receivers, have been ruled out of the ‘Thursday Night Football’ matchup at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

Here’s a status update on key players heading into Thursday:

Bengals WR Tee Higgins is out

Higgins will miss his second-straight game due to a hamstring injury he suffered during practice last week. He did not play in the Bengals’ 30-27 loss to the Houston Texans and head coach Zac Taylor said it would be a ‘short, tough’ week for Higgins to bounce back for ‘Thursday Night Football.’ Higgins was officially ruled out on Wednesday after he didn’t log a practice all week.

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This will mark the third game Higgins has missed this season. Higgins sat out the Bengals’ Week 5 win over the Arizona Cardinals due to a rib injury sustained during Week 4.

Higgins, who registered back-to-back 1,000-plus receiving-yard seasons in 2021 and 2022, has recorded 328 yards and two touchdowns through seven games this season.

Bengals DE Sam Hubbard is out

Hubbard also is out Thursday, marking the second straight game he will miss due to an ankle injury. Hubbard did not practice this week.

‘He’s irreplaceable in that position,’ Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo said Monday. ‘Let’s start with communication and helping everybody with, hey, this might happen, that might happen … So we miss him there and then just his physical presence. He’s one of the top edge run defenders in the league and it’s hard to replace those guys. But we have to … and we’ve got to do better.’

Bengals DE Trey Hendrickson is in

The Bengals, however, are expected to have Hendrickson, just four days after he injured his knee in the Bengals’ Week 10 loss to the Texans. Hendrickson didn’t practice Monday, got a limited practice in on Tuesday and was a full participant on Wednesday. Hendrickson has 27 total tackles, 8.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in nine games.

Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey is ‘doubtful’

The Ravens could be without Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey on Thursday. He was listed as doubtful in Wednesday’s injury report after he didn’t practice all week. Humphrey missed the first four games of the season due to a foot injury that required surgery. He’s recorded 14 total tackles in six games this season.

Ravens OT Ronnie Stanley is out

Stanley will not suit up Thursday due to a knee injury after he did not practice all week. This will mark the fourth game Stanley has missed this season.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY