All week long, Tuesday’s game appeared to be the most normal day the Ravens would have in more than two weeks.
Instead, chaos reigned supreme once again.
Before the game, Dez Bryant announced he’d tested positive for coronavirus and was pulled out of pregame warmups — and he later tweeted he was done for the season.
The Ravens won 34-17 and kept pace in the AFC playoff picture, but like so much that’s happened this season, none of it was normal.
Here are four takeaways from the Ravens’ win:
1. Dez Bryant’s positive test takes center stage before game
Just under 30 minutes before kickoff, the biggest storyline of the night became an even bigger one.
Bryant announced on his Twitter feed that he’d tested positive for COVID-19 and wouldn’t play in his long-awaited matchup with the Cowboys. He was seen during individual pregame warmups on the field but wasn’t on the field for team warmups.
He then took to Twitter for the majority of the night and even said he was done with the season. It’s unclear if he was just emotional after not getting to face his former team, or if he truly has plans to sit out for the rest of the season.
The game was still played, as reportedly no close contacts or positive tests came back for the Ravens. The Ravens, fresh off a coronavirus outbreak that put 23 players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, certainly didn’t want to see another player hit the list. Now, it’s a waiting game.
2. Justin Tucker’s perfect streak ends
If Tuesday couldn’t get any weirder, Justin Tucker missed a field goal from inside 40 yards, ending a streak of 70 straight kicks made that way. It was his second miss of the year, the first of which came from more than 60 yards out.
Otherwise, he’d been perfect from everywhere on the field this season.
But if there was any doubt, he made his next kick and reset that streak to one.
3. Running back by committee — still
The Ravens made it clear all offseason and all regular season that the running back situation wouldn’t be a permanent answer and they’d rotate as necessary. Tuesday was the same situation.
Lamar Jackson finished with 13 carries and 94 yards, J.K. Dobbins finished with 11 for 71 yards, Gus Edwards had seven for 101 yards to lead the way and Mark Ingram had six for 28 yards.
They ran the ball at will against a porous Cowboys defense, but they’ll certainly take what they can get, as they totaled 294 yards on the ground on the night.
4. Ravens keep pace in AFC playoff picture
It didn’t matter how, all that mattered was that the Ravens (7-5) kept pace in the AFC playoff picture. And they did.
The Ravens got no help on Sunday or Monday, as the Chiefs, Bills, Browns, Dolphins, Colts and Raiders all won — all teams that are ahead of the Ravens in the standings. The Patriots (6-6), who have the tiebreaker over the Ravens, blew the Chargers out Sunday. The Patriots are a team that the Ravens simply can’t afford to fall behind.
Now, they’ll have their biggest game of the season next Monday against the Browns (9-3) in a game that could decide the wild card standings for the Ravens.
It was known the Ravens needed to win at least four of their final games. Tuesday, they made it three of four.