Ar’Darius Washington

Marcus Williams Will Not Undergo Surgery; Ravens S To Avoid IR

The Ravens will be without Marcus Williams for the second straight came on Sunday, as he continues to deal with a pectoral injury. The starting safety will be back in the fold at some point this season, though, given his rehab decision.

Williams has elected not to undergo surgery to address the injury, as detailed by ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. As a result, he will not be placed on injured reserve. Players stashed on IR are required to miss at least four weeks, though the fact he will avoid that designation does not necessarily mean Williams is set to make a return to the field in the near future.

“There’s a sort of a vague timeframe right now,” head coach John Harbaugh said when asked about Williams’ recovery, “but I just don’t want to put it out there and then everybody be mad at me later.”

Williams, 27, was Baltimore’s top free agent addition in 2022 having signed a five-year, $70MM deal. That led to substantial expectations, and he recorded a team-leading four interceptions along with eight pass breakups. However, he was limited to 10 games due to a dislocated wrist, his first major injury in the NFL. That has now been followed up by the pectoral injury, which did not constitute a complete tear of the muscle.

Both team and player took some time to arrive at the non-surgical option, but the fact Williams will be back at some point will be welcomed news for Baltimore. The team’s secondary has been hit hard by injuries at the cornerback spot, so the former second-rounder’s absence has left the team particularly thin on the backend. Fill-in starter Geno Stone did, on the other hand, notch an interception in Week 2, presumably giving the Ravens optimism for their safety play moving forward.

While news on the Williams front is relatively positive, the same is not true of fellow defensive back Ar’Darius Washington. The latter – who served as the Ravens’ starting slot corner in Week 2 – might be out for the season, Harbaugh said (via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic). A chest injury landed Washington on IR, but today’s update suggests he will at least be sidelined for a lengthy stretch. The former UDFA is one of several player the Ravens have used at both corner and safety, and the team’s versatile defenders will remain a vital part of the secondary especially until Williams is able to return to the field.

Ravens Place DB Ar’Darius Washington On IR

The Ravens will be without one of their top defensive backs for the next few weeks. According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, the Ravens have placed Ar’Darius Washington on injured reserve.

Washington will be sidelined for at least the next four weeks while recovering from a chest injury. It’s uncertain when exactly the defensive back suffered his injury during Sunday’s win over the Bengals.

With the Ravens dealing with a long list of injuries on their secondary, Washington has seen a significant role over the first two weeks of the season, including a Week 2 appearance where he appeared in 95 percent of Baltimore’s defensive snaps. Listed as a safety on the official roster, Washington has been called on to serve as the slot cornerback during the early parts of the 2023 campaign.

The former UDFA saw time in six games through his first two seasons in the NFL. Washington was an undrafted free agent out of TCU in 2021.

This is yet another hit to Baltimore’s secondary. Marlon Humphrey continues to recover from his foot surgery, while Marcus Williams is sidelined with a pectoral injury. The Ravens have also been without Damarion Williams (ankle) and Trayvon Mullen (toe), meaning the Ravens have had to dig deep into their depth chart.

Arthur Maulet could be a candidate to take on a larger role in at least Week 3. After signing a two-year extension with the Steelers last offseason, Maulet was cut by Pittsburgh this offseason, leading to him landing in Baltimore. The veteran has seen time in 68 career games in stints with the Saints, Colts, Jets, and Steelers.

Per Hensley, the Ravens used their open roster spot to sign center Sam Mustipher from the practice squad. The offseason pickup was already elevated for both of Baltimore’s first two games, with the lineman earning one start.

Ravens Not Looking Externally For RB Help

The Ravens were forced to swallow a heavy pill when starting running back J.K. Dobbins suffered a torn Achilles tendon during the team’s win over the Texans this weekend. For solutions, many thought to look at the free agent or trade market, both of which are ripe with talented veterans, but head coach John Harbaugh said today that Baltimore will not be looking externally for running back help, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.

With options like Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette in free agency and a player like Jonathan Taylor reportedly available via trade, no one would blame Harbaugh and company for bringing in an experienced starter to tote the rock. Instead, the Ravens feel confident in the options they have in-house to take over with Harbaugh even indicating that they will be operating with a committee in the backfield.

When Dobbins exited Sunday’s game, fifth-year backup Justice Hill stepped in and immediately scored a touchdown, his first since the 2019 season. While he later scored a second touchdown, matching his career-high for a season, Hill only amassed nine yards on eight carries. Veteran backup rusher Gus Edwards, who has filled in as a starter at times in his career, was a bit more productive with his eight carries, racking up 32 yards.

Adding veterans didn’t quite deliver the desired result two years ago when Dobbins, Edwards, and Hill all missed the 2021 season with season-ending injuries before the year even began. That year, Baltimore turned to a committee featuring veteran backs like Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray, and Le’Veon Bell in conjunction with Ty’Son Williams. Freeman and Murray each reached 500 rushing yards and delivered six scores apiece, but overall, the running game was dependent on quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Still, the Ravens added veteran rusher Melvin Gordon in the offseason, ultimately cutting him and signing him to the practice squad before the regular season. Gordon seems like an obvious callup to help carry the load without Dobbins. The Ravens also saw some impressive preseason performances from undrafted rookies Keaton Mitchell and Owen Wright, landing both on the team’s roster in some capacity to start the year. Mitchell currently resides on injured reserve himself, so he’s unable to contribute at this time. Wright, though, landed on the practice squad and may also hear his number called up to the active roster this season.

Dobbins is now expected to undergo surgery to repair his Achilles tendon this Friday, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Pelissero points out that Rams running back Cam Akers recovered from a similar surgery in less than six months two years ago. Dobbins will be aiming for a similar timeline, bringing him back shortly after the start of the 2024 league year.

In other injury news, Harbaugh confirmed that starting free safety Marcus Williams “will be out for a while” after suffering a pectoral muscle injury, according to Ravens editorial director Ryan Mink. Williams missed seven games in his Baltimore debut last year and will be forced to miss more in 2023, but the team is holding out hope that he will not be out for the season. He’ll be forced to make a decision soon on whether or not he will undergo surgery, as well.

In Williams’ absence, the team turned to Geno Stone yesterday. Stone started the seven games missed by Williams last year, as well. The team also has versatile defensive backs Brandon Stephens and Ar’Darius Washington that they can turn to. Stephens recently moved back to safety after spending time at cornerback when the depth chart was thin there. Washington has always been a safety but got extensive work in the slot this offseason.

Starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley and center Tyler Linderbaum suffered a sprained knee and ankle, respectively, forcing them both to leave the game early, as well. Both players are reportedly “week-to-week” but could miss the trip to Cincinnati this Sunday. Versatile sixth-man Patrick Mekari stepped in for Stanley yesterday and is an easy choice to start as an injury replacement as he’s done so often in the past. Offseason addition and practice squad callup Sam Mustipher filled in at center and will likely continue to do so, if needed.

The team will certainly hope that they won’t need to rely on Mekari and Mustipher for too long, and though they are clearly missing many bodies for the upcoming matchup with their division-rival, they’ll hope to get some back, too. Both cornerback Marlon Humphrey and tight end Mark Andrews will have a chance to play this weekend. There’s still work to be done, but things have been looking up recently for both players.

Ravens Rumors: Left Guard, Wallace, Washington, Clowney

The competition for a starting job that began with five or six candidates has seemingly been whittled down to two. According to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, it seems that veteran John Simpson and rookie Malaesala Aumavae-Laula are the final two players fighting for the starting left guard job in 2023.

Simpson appears to be the frontrunner. He has received a good amount of snaps with the first-team offensive line in camp and hasn’t looked out of place. Aumavae-Laula is viewed to have a higher ceiling than Simpson, and while the sixth-round pick out of Oregon has shown less consistency, the staff seems to be open to “letting him learn on the job.” With Simpson receiving the most first-team reps leading up to the regular season, it appears to be his job to lose, but it may be difficult to hold off Aumavae-Laula for long.

On the flipside, it’s a disappointing outcome for former third-round pick Ben Cleveland. After losing the starting battle to Ben Powers last year, the 6-foot-6, 357-pound lineman seems to be on the losing end of the competition for the second straight year. If he can’t show something soon, Cleveland may find himself fighting for a roster spot next summer.

Here are a few more rumors coming out of Baltimore:

  • Weeks ago, wide receiver Tylan Wallace was considered a likely candidate to be cut before the start of the regular season. After Wallace only amassed 56 receiving yards over his first two seasons, the additions of Odell Beckham Jr., Nelson Agholor, and Zay Flowers made Wallace’s future cut seem like a foregone conclusion. With Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay, among others, set to return, the battle for the WR6 position became a must-win. According to Zrebiec, Wallace responded to the adversity by hiring a new trainer and showing out in the preseason. Wallace has given strong performances in the last two weeks while other fringe receivers like James Proche have seen some rough stretches. There’s no guarantee that Baltimore holds on to six wide receivers, but if they do, Wallace is making a strong case for the job.
  • Formerly an undrafted free agent, Ar’Darius Washington has kept at least a spot on the practice squad with the Ravens over his first two NFL seasons as a promising reserve safety and special teamer. According to Zrebiec, though, he has inflated his stock this preseason by shining as a nickel cornerback. His smaller 5-foot-8, 177-pound frame makes some matchups an issue, but Washington has been one of the Ravens’ top performers in the past two weeks and should make a strong case for a roster spot and a true role on the defense.
  • Finally, while second-year pass rusher David Ojabo hasn’t stood out much in the team’s preseason games, the Ravens staff is still excited about his development after barely playing coming off an injury as a rookie. According to Jamison Hensley of ESPN, head coach John Harbaugh made a point to say that the addition of veteran edge Jadeveon Clowney would not impact the playing time of Ojabo. “You want to have enough guys,” Harbaugh said. “There’s a lot of snaps…about 1,200 snaps in the season. You need all those guys.”
  • Hensley’s colleague at ESPN, Field Yates, also provided us with some details on Clowney’s contract with the Ravens. Along with Clowney’s base contract value of $2.5MM, consisting of a $1.17MM base salary and a $1.34MM signing bonus, Clowney can receive up to $3.5MM of incentives. Specifically, he will earn $500K for five sacks, $1MM for seven sacks, or $1.75MM for nine sacks. The same respective amounts would be paid out if Clowney plays over 50 percent, 60 percent, or 65 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. If he hits full incentives, it would push the total value of his contract up to $6MM. Finally, he will earn a per game active roster bonus of $20K for a potential season total of $340K.

Latest On Ravens’ CB Situation

The Ravens appear to have their starting boundary tandem in place at the cornerback position. A number of candidates are vying for the first-team role in the slot, however.

Marlon Humphrey is in place to once again serve as the anchor of Baltimore’s secondary, but fellow All-Pro Marcus Peters is no longer in the fold. The latter signed a long-anticipated deal with the Raiders recently, marking a formal end to his Ravens tenure. Rock Ya-Sin had already been acquired as a Peters replacement, signing a one-year contract in May. The former Colt and Raider is currently dealing with a knee injury, but it is not believed to be serious (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network).

The question of who starts in the slot remains unanswered. Defensive backs coach Chris Hewitt named several contenders for the role, as detailed by The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec (subscription required). Among them is a mix of veteran and young players, as well as those with a background playing at safety as opposed to corner, and vice versa. Hewitt said the position is in an “open competition” at this point.

2022 first-rounder Kyle Hamilton played extensively in the slot as a rookie, but the trade sending Chuck Clark to the Jets paved the way for the Notre Dame product taking on full-time safety duties. The Ravens used three-safety alignments under defensive coordinator Mike McDonald, however, so keeping Hamilton at the nickel could allow the Ravens to deploy their best secondary options for extended stretches.

Other candidates for the position include Brandon Stephens and Ar’Darius Washington. The former was a third-round Ravens selection in 2021, after a college career which saw him play at both running back and corner. Stephens primarily played as a safety as a rookie, but his more common usage came at corner in 2022. Washington, meanwhile, has seen time in the slot in his limited usage since joining Baltimore as a UDFA.

2022 fourth-rounders Damarion Williams and Jalyn Armour-Davis are also contenders for a first-team role. Williams was named as a player to watch during camp, given his more natural fit as a slot corner compared to many of the team’s other options. He missed time at the start of camp due to injury, however, leaving him with ground to make up during the preseason. Hewitt added that Armour-Davis, who played on the outside at Alabama, is under consideration to be moved inside.

By far the most experienced option is Arthur Maulet. The 30-year-old signed a one-year deal last week after being released by the Steelers earlier in the offseason. Maulet has seen considerable usage in the slot over the past three seasons in particular, and it would come as little surprise if that is his primary function in Baltimore. The Ravens were linked to a veteran signing leading up to his addition, but another could be coming as well.

Zrebiec notes that the Ravens could still be in the market for a corner, though the team is focusing on its numerous internal options for the time being. The developments in the ongoing competition will be worth watching as camp practices and preseason games take place.

Ravens Rumors: WRs, Nickelback, Ricard

The Ravens did a lot in their attempts to improve the wide receiving corps this offseason. What that usually means is that some receivers from last year’s roster will be fighting to remain on the team this summer. According to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, one of James Proche or Tylan Wallace may find themselves on the outside looking in come September.

Proche and Wallace were drafted in back-to-back years following quarterback Lamar Jackson‘s 2019 MVP season. Both players were taken as flyers following more valuable attempts to add to the room as the Ravens tried to bolster Jackson’s weapons cache. In 2020, Proche joined Devin Duvernay as rookies out of the state of Texas. Duvernay, a third-round pick out of Texas, was expected to be a contributor who could add to the room very soon, while Proche, a sixth-round pick out of SMU, had a similar playing style and added an ability as a return man.

Wallace had a stronger chance to contribute as a fourth-rounder out of Oklahoma State the following year, but he was still not the team’s headliner rookie receiver that year. Wallace was picked three rounds after first-round pick Rashod Bateman, the clear choice of rookies expected to contribute right away.

The source of disappointment in Wallace is fairly apparent. Through two years in the NFL, Wallace has only six catches for 56 yards. He contributes on special teams, but that doesn’t help a ton when he misses eight games, as he did last season. Proche showed signs of life in a sophomore season with 16 catches for 202 yards, but he took a step back in 2022 with only eight catches for 62 yards. His return ability was rendered moot, as well, as Duvernay earned first-team All-Pro honors as a return man.

The offseason has seen the departures of pass catchers Demarcus Robinson, DeSean Jackson, and Sammy Watkins, all of whom outperformed Proche and Wallace last year, but the additions of Odell Beckham Jr., Nelson Agholor, and first-round pick Zay Flowers vastly outweigh what was lost in the room. With a top-five of Bateman, Beckham, Flowers, Duvernay, and Agholor, it’s hard to see where Proche and Wallace are both getting in the game. In a situation where the Ravens only hold on to six wide receivers, Proche and Wallace are likely going to be battling it out for that last roster spot in the preseason.

Here are a few more roster rumors coming out of Charm City:

  • Baltimore added to the cornerbacks room this offseason with the additions of free agent Rock Ya-Sin and fifth-round pick Kyu Blu Kelly. While those acquisitions address the loss of starting cornerback Marcus Peters, the team may need to also address the slot. With Kyle Hamilton, who covered a bit of time in the slot last season with Chuck Clark and Marcus Williams starting at safety, moving back to his more natural position, who do the Ravens play in the slot? According to Zrebiec, second-year cornerback Damarion Williams is the favorite for the job, but Williams is reportedly dealing with some health issues right now. If Williams can’t go, Brandon Stephens, who has shown versatility while playing both safety and cornerback in his first two years, could get a chance to demonstrate his abilities. Former undrafted safety Ar’Darius Washington also reportedly has some “fans in the building” and could get an opportunity. Zrebiec doesn’t want to rule out starting cornerback Marlon Humphrey, though. Some around the team believe that putting one of the team’s best defenders closer to the ball and line of scrimmage could allow him to demonstrate his physicality and game-changing ability on more of a regular basis.
  • With the addition of new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, some fans were concerned about the safety of fullback Patrick Ricard‘s roster spot. Ricard was used heavily in former play-caller Greg Roman‘s system, but does Monken’s new system allow for Ricard to extend his streak of four straight Pro Bowl selections? According to Zrebiec, Monken may have little say in the matter. General manager Eric DeCosta and head coach John Harbaugh both value Ricard highly as a player. They’ve used him as a blocker out of the backfield, a receiver lining up at fullback and tight end, a contributor on special teams, and even as a defensive lineman in his early years. Regardless of how Monken has utilized fullbacks in the past, it’s hard to see a scenario where the Ravens can’t find a role for Ricard to fill.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/3/22

Here are the league’s minor transactions leading into the Sunday-slate of Week 13 games:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Wednesday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These BengalsBrowns, Ravens and Steelers moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s AFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Baltimore Ravens




Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Cincinnati Bengals




Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Cleveland Browns



Signed to practice squad:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ravens CB Marcus Peters Activated Off PUP

Baltimore finally saw one-half of their feared cornerback tandem return to practice today as Marcus Peters was activated off the physically unable to perform list. After passing his physical, Peters was back out on the practice field for the first time since September of last year. 

Peters suffered a torn ACL just four days before the Ravens’ season opener last year, filing into a line of falling dominos that took out much of the Ravens’ running back and cornerback rooms. He would miss the entire season after only sitting out five games in his previous six seasons.

The Ravens will be ecstatic at the return of their ball-hawk safety. While opposite-side starter Marlon Humphrey excels at separating ball-carriers from the football with forced fumbles, Peters is a dying breed of cornerback that excels in making sure the ball never gets to the receiver. He has seven interceptions in 24 games with the Ravens and, even though he missed all of last season, no one in the league has more interceptions since Peters entered the league than his own 31 picks.

Baltimore also announced the return of second-year safety Ar’Darius Washington from the PUP list. Washington impressed as an undrafted player out of TCU last year by making the Ravens’ final 53-man roster. He appeared in three games before a broken foot ended his season prematurely. Washington will return to an extremely deep safety room that currently houses Marcus Williams, Chuck Clark, first-round rookie Kyle Hamilton, Tony Jefferson, and Geno Stone.

Ravens Place Six Players On PUP List

The Ravens’ 2021 season was derailed by injuries, and the team is still feeling the effects of it as training camp opens up. The team announced on Friday that six players have been placed on the active/PUP list. 

On offense, left tackle Ronnie Stanley is among the players listed. The former All-Pro has played in just one game since October of 2020 due to multiple ankle surgeries. The team has remained optimistic that, unlike last season, a more cautious offseason approach can keep him on the field permanently once the regular season begins. Baltimore has several options to replace him if he remains sidelined, including veteran Ja’Wuan James – himself no stranger to injury problems.

Not surprisingly, running back J.K. Dobbins is also on the list. It was reported earlier this week that the 23-year-old might not be fully recovered from his ACL tear in time for the regular season opener. The progress of his rehab will be worth watching closely during camp, as is the case for fellow back Gus Edwards. He, like Dobbins, missed the 2021 season in its entirety, putting his September availability in question. Free agent signing Mike Davis and sixth-round rookie Tyler Badie could be in line for significant reps in camp.

Two key defenders are on the list as well. Cornerback Marcus Peters was named as a PUP candidate earlier this month, as he continues to recover from a torn ACL suffered in the preseason. His return would be welcomed by the Ravens, who struggled mightily against the pass in 2021 and have a new-look CB room. The other member of the secondary on the list is safety Ar’Darius Washington, a former UDFA in contention for a backup role.

Finally, outside linebacker Tyus Bowser represents another unsurprising name on the list. The Ravens jack-of-all-trades edge rusher suffered a torn Achilles in the regular season finale, leaving his Week 1 availability in doubt throughout the offseason. With second-rounder David Ojabo dealing with the same ailment, Bowsers’ September health will be a key talking point in the build-up to the season.

Any of the above players can be activated at any time, though the chances of that happening in the near future is likely lower than that of many other PUP players previously announced, given the severity of many of these injuries.