OWINGS MILLS, MD (NWN) — The Baltimore Ravens are back from their open date — and they were practicing without Sammy Watkins and Latvius Murray on Wednesday.
It was a reminder that injury issues are very important for the team to recover from a week off.
There is good news for Ravana. Tight end Nick Boyle and cornerback Chris Westree were in practice. But Watkins and Murray weren’t in the form of a team prepared for Sunday’s game against Minnesota. The Ravens have overcome their injuries, and are out of their open date with a lead in AFC North.
Watkins (thigh) and Murray (ankle) missed training days after coach John Harbaugh said they had a chance to return. Offensive lineman Patrick McCreery (ankle) and nose tackle Brandon Williams (shoulder) also did not participate.
“We are going to add some people with Sammy coming back, and Nick going to be back at some point. When running back, Latvius will be back,” Harbaugh said on Monday. Where can our crime go? I just want to get it out there.”
It’s not quite there yet, if Wednesday was any indication, and the Ravens have a new health concern this week after linebacker Malik Harrison was shot in the leg at a gathering in Cleveland over the weekend.
Harrison went on the reserve/non-football injury list, although Harbaugh said Wednesday that he should be able to return.
“It’s a short period, it seems. … His guardian angels were taking care of him,” Harbaugh said. “We had him at the team meeting on Tuesday, and we all accepted it. We are very grateful for this. It takes the same amount of time for him to recover, then he’ll come back.”
Safety DeShawn Elliott echoed that optimism.
“Glad he is safe and back here with us,” Elliot said. “He’ll be fine. In a couple of weeks, he’ll be back.”
Watkins was a key addition to the Ravens this past season, taking 18 catches for 292 yards in five games. Any chances of Baltimore being in full force this season vanished when the Ravens lost to JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards before the season, and the receiving group also had availability issues. Rashod Bateman has recently returned from his injury problem, but now Watkins is out.
Boyle (knee) hasn’t played this season yet, but he caught 31 passes his last full season in 2019.
“He brings a lot to the table for us — catching the ball, blocking. He’s doing it all for us,” said quarterback Lamar Jackson. “And he also has a little funny personality, so we missed him as well. We are glad we got him back.”
Boyle, Westree (knee) and defensive edge Derek Wolff (back) are all named for withdrawals from injured reserve. In addition to that trio, Baltimore still has 13 other players on the IR. The Ravens only had 50 players on the active roster on Wednesday.
“With people coming back from injuries, it’s going to be 53 here very soon,” Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh also said this week that Jawuan James on the reserve/NFI list after a torn Achilles tendon may return before the end of the season to tackle him.
“Maybe in December he’ll have a chance, I think. There’s no setback,” Harbaugh said. “He looks good. I see him walking. He is in meetings. He has great spirits. He’s walking straight ahead.”
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