The Ravens cannot catch a break. Joe Flacco has a back injury that the team is currently downplaying but that could threaten the 2017 season, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Second-year RB Kenneth Dixon, who is probably the most talented back on the club, will miss the entire year with a torn meniscus; second-year slot corner Tavon Young, who had an excellent rookie campaign, suffered a season-ending ACL tear; longtime tight end Dennis Pitta is no longer on the club after sustaining yet another hip injury; tight end Darren Waller managed to get himself suspended for a year; and offensive linemen John Urschel surprisingly announced his retirement several days ago.
Now, tight end Crockett Gillmore — who has the most intriguing blend of athleticism, receiving ability, and blocking ability of the tight ends still on the roster — has sustained a potentially serious knee injury, as has second-year corner Maurice Canady. Per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, both players suffered those injuries during Friday’s practice. Canady, whom the Ravens selected in the sixth round of last year’s draft, was terrific in spring practices and figured to get the first opportunity to replace Young. Gillmore has shown the ability to be a No. 1 tight end when on the field, but he cannot seem to stay out of the training room.
The Ravens have yet to comment on either injury, and it remains to be seen if they will need to scour the free agent market for replacements (the team did sign Brandon Boykin following the Young injury, but the hope was that Canady could capably fill the slot corner role). If necessary, Baltimore could finally turn its attention to Gary Barnidge, who is easily the best tight end still on the market, and it could look to players like Brandon Flowers and Tramon Williams to fill in at corner.
In the meantime, the Ravens will just have to pray they don’t lose a potential starter every time they practice.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.