Nobody has worse luck on the injury front last year than the Baltimore Ravens. In terms of time missed from starters, they outpaced everybody, and they had many key losses, which just became too much to survive at the end of the season, especially once quarterback Lamar Jackson went down with an injury.
It wasn’t just Jackson, though, or really any one spot, but it is true that their secondary was hit hard. When you don’t finish the year with either one of your All-Pro cornerbacks, that’s a problem. Marcus Peters missed the entire season, while Marlon Humphrey was injured in the second half of the year. Both suffered significant injuries. But the Ravens are confident in both of them returning to full strength in 2022.
“We’re very excited. We feel like Marlon [Humphrey] is going to come back with a vengeance and Marcus [Peters] is going to come back with a vengeance”, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta told reporters earlier this week during the team’s pre-draft press conference.
Peters tore his ACL in practice on September 8, just before the start of the season. He was coming off of a four-interception season, after intercepting five passes the year before that (three with the Ravens after he was acquired via trade).
As for Humphrey, he suffered a pectoral tear against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 13, the game in which they decided to attempt a walk-off two-point conversion, coming up short and ending up with a loss. That was their first of six consecutive losses to end the season, going from an 8-3 record to 8-9.
Without their two All-Pro cornerbacks, Baltimore was left starting games with the likes of Chris Westry and Anthony Averett. Neither of them are even with the Ravens anymore, Averett signing with the Raiders and Westry now with the Panthers. They also released Tavon Young, making them very thin at cornerback, which DeCosta acknowledges is a concern.
“I think we’re definitely concerned”, he said about the depth at cornerback on the roster right now. “If you guys know us, we always want to have a strong secondary and have as many corners as possible. We’ve referred to those guys as racecars in the past. This year, we got decimated at that position across the board. We have outstanding players coming back, but again, until they come back, it’s question marks”.
Baltimore entered the 2021 season so confident in its cornerback depth that they traded Shaun Wade, a fifth-round rookie, before the season started to the New England Patriots in exchange for a seventh-round pick this year and a fifth-round pick next year.
Now they’re looking for help, with pretty much nobody proven for depth currently on the roster. The Steelers are not unfamiliar with that territory, but we should probably expect Baltimore to address the position pretty substantially. Having four fourth-round picks won’t hurt.