Hey guys, long time no see. Let’s get right into today’s topic.
The Baltimore Ravens can’t stay healthy during the pandemic. No, it’s not coronavirus weakening our roster, it’s a problem as old as football itself: injury. On the Ravens’ first day back in pads (the first day!), the Ravens receive another poorly timed injury. It’s a staple of the Ravens’ recent offseasons, so what do you expect? Last year it was Tavon Young who suffered the freak neck injury, consequently ending his season before it even began. This time it’s another defensive back, Iman Marshall, the second-year man out of Southern California.
During his post-practice press conference, coach John Harbaugh told media members that Marshall suffered “a major knee injury yesterday.” According to Harbaugh, Marshall “came down on his right leg really awkwardly. He’s going to need major surgery. I believe it’s ACL, MCL.” Baltimore placed Marshall on the injured reserve.
This is obviously a devastating injury for Iman Marshall, and I think I speak for the entire Ravens Flock when I say we all wish him a speedy recovery. That being said, I know many fans are wondering how this impacts the Ravens strategy going into the season.
Marshall’s injury causes a long-term problem but does not affect the Ravens in the short term. 2020 was supposed to be the year he showcased his talent to the coaching staff. Harbaugh IR-stashed Marshall In his rookie season last year. When he returned, Marshall was only activated three times and played just four snaps in total. Although we saw little of Marshall, Harbaugh obviously saw enough to know he wasn’t ready for NFL competition. Marshall needed to show significant progression in 2020. This injury shuts any open door of opportunity. Marshall likely wouldn’t have started in the secondary, but he would have been in the rotation if not for this injury. As a result, the Ravens will not be able to evaluate Marshall’s long term value. Remember, he was drafted in the fourth-round last year. He’s not exactly the designated future of the defense. This obviously throws a wrench into Harbaugh’s plans.
In the short term, Ravens fans have little to worry about. Baltimore’s starting secondary is still intact. The dynamic duo of Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters is secure, and Jimmy Smith will fit well in his rotational role. Not only that, but the Ravens have Tavon Young back from that neck injury. His presence in the slot is a tremendous asset for Baltimore. The Ravens may even see production from Anthony Averett, now in his third year. The Ravens simply need to replace a rotational piece that was not expected to be an integral piece in the defense.
A Twitter friend of mine posed an interesting question to me today. Could the Ravens bring back Brandon Carr after today’s news?
Smh man this sucks I wanted to see how he was gonna do this year too. I wonder if ravens are looking to bring back Brandon Carr now?
— Angel Wright (@AngelDubz) August 17, 2020
It’s a very interesting question. At first, I just brushed it off. Why would Baltimore hit the panic button and re-sign Carr? But as the day went on I kept thinking about it. Carr had a great relationship with the Ravens’ leadership, so extending an offer will hurt no one’s egos. Both parties may actually want a reunion. More importantly, however, the Ravens have $6.3 million in free cap space. At this point in the offseason, Carr is not commanding much of a market (if one even exists for him). Any contract he signs would be worth maybe $1-2 million. That leaves the Ravens with some free cash, not much, but enough to get by. At the end of the day, Baltimore’s decision is predicated on what they want to do with Marshall’s roster spot. Do the Ravens value a proven veteran over an intriguing, under the radar young player, or are the front office’s priorities in reverse? Carr would be the logical answer if the Ravens want to add a veteran to the mix, but with such a strong secondary, Baltimore may rather reserve Marshall’s roster spot for an undrafted rookie that could turn some heads in training camp, allowing Harbaugh to evaluate for the future as he initially planned.
There is only one thing for certain at this point. Football is back, and I can’t wait to see the Ravens hit the field.