While the Ravens added Rock Ya-Sin to their cornerback group this offseason, they might need more help soon. Their No. 1 cornerback is unlikely to be available for the season opener.
Marlon Humphrey has encountered an injury issue that will threaten his Week 1 availability, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com report (via Twitter). After taking part in a joint workout with the Commanders on Tuesday, Humphrey is not at practice today.
A foot injury will sideline the seventh-year corner, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who indicates (via Twitter) he will undergo surgery Wednesday. This procedure is expected to shut down Humphrey for an extended period, with Rapoport adding the Ravens are hopeful he can return in a little more than a month. That optimistic timetable, however, will still likely involve missed regular-season games.
This is a lingering issue, per John Harbaugh (via ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley), rather than an injury sustained during the joint practice. The 16th-year HC does not expect this to sideline Humphrey for a long-term period.
The former first-round pick suffered a torn pectoral muscle late in the 2021 season but rebounded to start 17 games last year. Prior to the five-game absence stemming from the chest injury, Humphrey had missed only three games in his first four seasons. An absence to start this year would deal a blow to the Ravens, who let Marcus Peters walk in free agency.
Baltimore made a substantial commitment to Humphrey in 2020, extending him on a five-year, $97.5MM deal. That contract runs through 2026. As Peters struggled to regain his form following an ACL tear that knocked him out for all of the 2021 season, Humphrey received Pro Bowl acclaim in 2022. Pro Football Focus viewed the Alabama alum as a top-15 corner last year, and at 27, the versatile cover man is squarely in his prime.
The Ravens did not make any major draft investments at corner, though they did add Kyu Blu Kelly in Round 5. The team came into today already dealing with injury issues at the position. Second-year cover man Damarion Williams, a former fourth-round pick who played 226 defensive snaps as a backup last season, underwent ankle surgery this week and will not be ready in time for the season, Harbaugh said (via The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec). Baltimore hopes to have Williams back in October, Zrebiec tweets, pointing to an IR stay to start the season. In addition to Williams, Jalyn Armour-Davis and recent pickup Arthur Maulet were down with injuries.
Williams, who began Ravens camp on the active/PUP list, would seemingly be in play to become one of Baltimore’s IR activations. At this point, it is premature to suggest Humphrey would join him. An IR move — after the team sets its 53-man roster — would cost Humphrey four games. Given his value to the team, it seems likelier it will go week to week with its top corner.
The Ravens already entered camp with a question at slot corner, an area where Humphrey has excelled at points. Williams joined the likes of Brandon Stephens and Ar’Darius Washington in vying for that gig. The team trading Chuck Clark is set to move Kyle Hamilton, a slot player last season, to a pure safety role. With Humphrey likely shelved for the start of the season, the Ravens have another big question to answer as camp continues.