Today, multiple reports surfaced regarding the health of Ravens first-round rookie tight end, Hayden Hurst. Hurst has repeatedly been on and off the field since the start of practices this offseason. In the reports, it was revealed that Hurst suffered a stress fracture in his foot, and would miss three to four weeks. With the season looming, this is not the time the Ravens wanted to deal with injuries. Baltimore drafted Hurst as part of sweeping changes that have taken place on the offensive side of the ball. Without the projected starter, the Ravens offense will be missing a dominant pass catcher. Despite this, the Ravens are not in panic mode.
While it is no secret that Joe Flacco views tight ends as a valuable asset, the Ravens offense is not dependent on them. As part of the offensive overhaul, the Ravens brought in new wide receivers Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead IV. Each of these receivers has already gained a great rapport with Flacco, and the trio as a whole is an upgrade from last year’s disappointing corps. The Ravens also have reserve tight ends that coach Harbaugh can turn to. The Ravens drafted receiving specialist Mark Andrews in the third round of this year’s draft. The Ravens also have Nick Boyle, Maxx Williams, Vince Mayle, and Darren Waller on the current roster. Although it is near impossible for all to make the roster, Baltimore should be able to find decent substitutes in that group.
Hayden Hurst’s injury is slated to take three to four weeks out of this season for the young pass catcher. Based on this timetable, Hurst could return by the third game of the season, against the Denver Broncos on September 23. If that, best case scenario, were to occur, Hurst would only sit out against the Bills and Bengals.