Ravens lose starting center Matt Skura to injury before 49ers showdown


Once again, the 49ers enter another week that should feature a clash of the titans when Kyle Shanahan's 10-1 club faces the 9-2 Ravens. While facing the vaunted Ravens offense will be a tall task -- even for the 49ers' dominant defense -- Baltimore will be without one of its top offensive linemen. 

NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday that Ravens center Matt Skura will miss the remainder of the season after injuring his knee in Baltimore's 45-6 blowout win over the Rams on Monday night. 

Losing Skura will be a big blow to the Ravens. The third-year pro was second in Pro Bowl voting for centers, and his 1,812 snaps over the past two seasons were second in the NFL. 

The Ravens' Mr. Reliable clearly has great chemistry with quarterback Lamar Jackson, who enters Sunday as the MVP frontrunner. Skura has been the anchor of an offensive line protecting the best rushing attack in the NFL, too. 

The Ravens lead the league in rushing yards per game (210.5), yards per carry (5.7), total rushing yards (2,316) and rushing touchdowns (17). The 49ers rank second behind Baltimore in rushing yards per game (145.6), total rushing yards (1,602) and rushing touchdowns (15). 

San Francisco's feared defensive line will attack the middle as the Ravens turn to undrafted rookie Patrick Mekari. The 49ers are allowing the fewest yards per game in the NFL at just 248, but are just 19th in rushing yards allowed per game (111.1). 

[RELATED: Why Ravens QB Jackson will be 49ers' toughest test of 2019]

With heavy rain expected for Sunday's forecast at M&T Bank Stadium, both teams could rely on the run. It will be interesting to see how the center-quarterback exchange is affected for Jackson, as well as how the 49ers might bull-rush Mekari. 

All eyes will be on Lamar Jackson, but losing his center could be costly for the Ravens.

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