The Ravens are riding high after defeating the New England Patriots last Sunday night, but Baltimore is not distracted in the pursuit of excellence. On Tuesday, the Baltimore Ravens conducted roster transactions to improve the team. The Ravens waived cornerback Maurice Canady and signed wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas.
Thomas was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The former Oregon Duck running back quickly found a niche on the Chiefs’ roster, not as a running back or receiver, but as a return specialist. Known for his speed, Thomas fit the role well. In his first season with the Chiefs, Thomas returned a punt for 81 yards and a touchdown. Over the course of his stay at Kansas City, Thomas returned 85 punts for 755 yards (8.9-yard average) and a touchdown and 58 kickoffs for 1,422 (24.5-yard average). Thomas also has 65 receptions for 509 yards, and 30 rushes for 190 yards in his career.
Thomas re-signed with the Chiefs this offseason, but the NFL gave him a single-game suspension for violating the substance abuse policy. Thomas was released by the Chiefs on October 22 after his second fumble of the season.
Thomas will likely take the return specialist job in Baltimore. The Ravens’ return game has been stale all season, as Baltimore only averages 9.4 yards per punt return and 19.3 yards per kick return this season. On Sunday night, Cyrus Jones fumbled on a punt return and Chris Moore fumbled on a kick return. De’Anthony Thomas will have an open opportunity to contribute as a return man right away.
To make room for Thomas, the Ravens waived cornerback, Maurice Canady. Baltimore drafted Canady in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Canady never developed into a high profile cornerback for the Ravens, but had has shining moments. He was responsible for a bat down against the Colts in late 2017 that kept the season alive and played increasingly well in recent weeks this season. Canady simply falls victim to roster constraints. The Ravens cannot keep eight cornerbacks (Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Brandon Carr, Anthony Averett, Cyrus Jones, and Bennett Jackson). Canady was inactive in Baltimore’s game against the Patriots.
The Ravens also announced that the team signed defensive end, Michael Onuoha to the practice squad. Onuoha, the former Texas A&M Commerce edge rusher, participated in Baltimore’s offseason program but was released after he broke his wrist in the preseason.