The Baltimore Ravens offense suffered a tough setback Tuesday.
Ravens center Matt Skura, one of the NFL’s best offensive lineman, reportedly will miss the remaining of the 2019 season due to a knee injury suffered in Monday night’s Week 12 road victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
The Ravens will turn to rookie Patrick Mekari in Skura’s absence.
Mekari, a California product, had never played center before taking over Monday night for Skura. He spent training camp mostly playing guard, but sometimes center as well.
Skura’s excellent play is a major reason why the Ravens offensive line is graded No. 1 in pass blocking and No. 4 in run blocking by Pro Football Focus entering Week 13.
The Ravens face their toughest remaining test of the regular season Sunday at home versus the NFC-leading San Francisco 49ers. Baltimore is one game behind the New England Patriots in the race for the AFC’s No. 1 spot but holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over the defending Super Bowl champs as a result of its Week 9 win.
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Skura transformed himself over the offseason and was one of the Ravens’ most dependable players, helping lead the way to the NFL’s best rushing attack.
He was originally diagnosed with a sprain, but further tests revealed the injury was more serious than thought.
Skura, a fourth-year pro out of Duke, will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
Skura’s absence will be the first major injury the offensive line will have to face all year — Bradley Bozeman and Orlando Brown Jr. have yet to miss a snap, and Ronnie Stanley and Marshal Yanda have been consistent all season long.
Skura is an unheralded member of an offense that averages 35.1 points per match and produces an NFL-best 210.5 yards rushing. He had started 27 straight games at center and totaled the second-most snaps in the NFL (1,812) over the past two seasons.
This season, Skura ranked 14th among centers in ESPN’s pass block win rate. He was also second in the AFC in Pro Bowl voting.
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