The Baltimore Ravens’ chances of advancing to the Super Bowl just took multiple hits… The major news is that RB Gus Edwards, who was supposed to be the main RB after J.K. Dobbins’ injury, and CB Marcus Peters have both suffered ACL tears. As of 7:12 PM CT yesterday (the time mentioned in the PFR article), both Edwards and Peters have had their injuries confirmed, as per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and they will be out for the 2021 season.
Injuries have seemingly run rampant during training camp. Over the past two months, the Ravens have had eight* players (DT Xavier Kelly, DB Khalil Dorsey, CB Iman Marshall, LB L.J. Fort, RB J.K. Dobbins, LB Otaro Alaka, DT Aaron Crawford, and RB Justice Hill) sustain season-ending injuries (not including yesterday’s injury confirmations). Additionally, these players are also going to miss some parts of the season: T Ja’Wuan James (on the NFI (non-football injury) list for Week 1); WR Miles Boykin, WR Rashod Bateman, and TE Nick Boyle (on short-term IR, expected to return in Week 4); LB Daelin Hayes, DE Derek Wolfe (Did not practice and are questionable for Week 1); and CB Jimmy Smith (limited in practice and is questionable for Week 1). Lastly, while they were hurt for some points in time, these players have made it back to practice and should be safe for now: WR Marquise Brown, G Ben Cleveland, and WR Sammy Watkins.
The Ravens stopped practice early after the injuries during Week 1 preparation. It was twofold, as Peters and Edwards got injured, with Edwards going down first with that ACL tear. The injury list just piles up in the Baltimore running back room, who’ve already lost Dobbins (knee) and Justice Hill (Achilles). Edwards topped 700 rushing yards in each of his first three NFL seasons. The Ravens are now stockpiling running backs due to these season-ending injuries, as they added Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman to the practice squad while adding Trenton Cannon and Latavius Murray to the active roster.
Murray, the latest running back to join the Ravens backfield, was cut by the Saints an hour before his contract would’ve become fully guaranteed. He declined to take a pay cut, and the Saints released him to save $2.3 million. He would’ve made $2.95 million with the Saints this season, and he will get a one-year, $2 million contract with the Ravens. He is now the most accomplished running back on the active roster, and could even become the featured back once he gets comfortable with the system. Right now, he’s projected as the backup behind Ty’Son Williams on ESPN. Last season, Murray carried the ball 146 times for 656 yards and four touchdowns with the Saints. He also caught 23 passes on 26 targets for 176 yards with one touchdown in relief for Alvin Kamara. As mentioned before in the J.K. Dobbins article, the Ravens do have the 2020 UDFA RB Williams and 2017 UDFA FB Patrick Ricard in the mix, but Bell and Freeman will certainly make appearances during the season. In fact, Freeman might get promoted to the active roster sooner than Bell (despite being signed first), as he has already participated in the preseason and is in a more game-ready shape.
As the offense has been taking hits, unfortunately, the defense took one as well. The Ravens have one of the best secondaries in the NFL. Now, they have lost a premier cornerback in Marcus Peters on the same day that the Ravens lost Edwards. He has been one of the most durable defensive backs in the league, starting in 90 out of 91 games, and has only missed five games since entering the NFL in 2015. Last season, in 14 games (all starts), he had 52 tackles, four INTs, four forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, nine passes defended, and a sack.
The 28-year-old corner is a former Defensive Rookie of the Year and a four-time Pro Bowler who would’ve been starting opposite Marlon Humphrey. The ballhawk has 31 interceptions in his career. His departure leaves Anthony Averett, Tavon Young, Chris Westry, and Jimmy Smith as alternatives at the cornerback position. Defensive coordinator Don Martindale says Averett has All-Pro talent, and he will get most of the playing time opposite Humphrey. Harbaugh said he’s confident in Averett (who is entering the final year of his rookie contract) and has praised him for work in training camp. The Ravens still have a solid roster and great coaches, but their Super Bowl hopes may be wishful thinking at this point. On behalf of everyone at EWFN, we hope for speedy recoveries for Edwards and Peters, that they can sort out their remaining injuries, and can successfully avoid the injury bug that has had a devastating effect on their roster so far!
*- Not all eight were reported in the hyperlinked article. I linked the articles about their season-ending injuries for those players on their names.
- Edwards’ Statistics: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/E/EdwaGu00.htm
- Peters’ Statistics: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/P/PeteMa00.htm
Edited By: Rupayan “Abs” Samanta.