Ravens fans have been sitting on their hands for nearly three weeks now since the team clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC and began resting its starters in anticipation for a playoff run. The wait ends tomorrow with a matchup against the visiting Texans, and the Ravens made a number of roster moves in order to prepare for the divisional-round game.
First, Baltimore brought in some reinforcements from injured reserve. While this move has been expected for some days now, it’s been unclear who exactly would be filling the team’s recent roster vacancies until today. Things became more clear when it was announced that star tight end Mark Andrews, who had been designated for return from IR, would not be available to play against the Texans. With that decision made for them, the Ravens went forward with the activations of wide receiver Devin Duvernay and defensive back Ar’Darius Washington from IR.
Duvernay adds wide receiver depth on the offense but mostly serves as the team’s return specialist. A former All-Pro as a return man, Duvernay was the only Raven returning any kickoffs or punts up until his injury. With his replacement, Tylan Wallace, declared out for Saturday with a knee injury, returning duties will fall directly back on Duvernay’s shoulders.
Washington, a former undrafted safety out of TCU, spent most of his first two years in the NFL as a special teamer and practice squad defender. The team was expecting a big 2023 season out of Washington after he opened the year as the Ravens’ starting nickel cornerback, but a chest injury landed him on IR after only Week 2, and he’s been out ever since. With star cornerback Marlon Humphrey out for tomorrow’s game with a calf injury, the depth Washington adds at cornerback will be welcome.
Additionally, running back Melvin Gordon, one of the players removed from the 53-man roster in order to make room for Duvernay, Washington, and Dalvin Cook, will remain in Baltimore under a new practice squad deal. The veteran rusher played a prominent role in the team’s Week 18 game as the Ravens attempted to rest Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, but a lost fumble early in the game forced the team not to take any chances. They’ve now subbed Cook in for Gordon on the active roster, but Gordon will now be available in case of emergency off of the practice squad after clearing waivers.
Lastly, the Ravens announced their standard gameday practice squad elevations for tomorrow’s game. Wide receiver Dan Chisena and linebacker Josh Ross will suit up with the active roster against the Texans. Houston, on the other hand, made the decision not to elevate any practice squad players for the second week in a row.