The Ravens finally hit the practice field in pads for the first time during this pandemic-altered training camp Aug. 17, but the biggest news came off the field, with word that one current player will miss the season with a knee injury, and one former All-Pro receiver will reportedly work out for the Ravens later this week.
After the 90-minute workout, Harbaugh revealed that second-year cornerback Iman Marshall suffered a “major knee injury” a day earlier and is likely lost for the season.
Meanwhile, NFL Network reported that three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Dez Bryant is expected to work out for the Ravens this week. Bryant, 31, had three straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons with the Dallas Cowboys from 2012-2014 but has not played since 2017.
Released by Dallas in 2018, Bryant signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints during the 2018 season but then tore his Achilles tendon two days later.
Head coach John Harbaugh declined to comment about Bryant, saying during a Zoom news conference after practice, “The only comment I have is that we’re not commenting on workouts and who’s coming in. Like always, we’re looking everywhere at everybody all the time.”
Bryant has not played since the 2017 season but would add a proven, veteran playmaker to a group that is likely to feature four rookies or second-year players. Veteran Willie Snead, 27, is the most experienced receiver on the Ravens roster; he has averaged about 48 catches and 590 yards during five NFL seasons. Last year, Snead finished with 31 catches for 339 yards.
Marquise Brown, who led Ravens wide receivers last year with 46 catches for 584 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie despite battling a foot injury, is fully healthy this year and expected to increase his role in the Ravens’ offense.
The Ravens have frequently supplemented their receiver corps with short-term veteran signings, with middling results recently. Seth Roberts had 21 catches for 271 yards and two touchdowns last season, and the year before that, Michael Crabtree had a one-year stint in Baltimore with 54 catches for 607 yards and three touchdowns. Jeremy Maclin caught 40 passes for 440 yards and three touchdowns in his only season in Baltimore in 2017.
The Ravens have been linked to mercurial All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown this summer after he took part in offseason workouts with quarterback Lamar Jackson and receiver Marquise Brown, Antonio’s cousin. Both Jackson and Marquise Brown praised the idea of adding Antonio Brown to the roster, and the Ravens have never definitively squashed any speculation to that effect.
Antonio Brown, though, faces an eight-game suspension for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.
As for Marshall, the second-year cornerback’s season is apparently over after he “just came down on his right leg really awkwardly and is going to need major surgery,” Harbaugh said. “I believe it’s ACL and MCL.”
Marshall, a fourth-round draft pick out of USC last year, spent the first half of his rookie season on injured reserve and played in three games after returning to the active roster. He played just four defensive snaps and totaled one tackle on special teams.
Marshall figured to be fighting for a roster spot amid a deep cornerback group that includes Pro Bowl picks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, veteran Jimmy Smith and slot cornerback Tavon Young, who is back after missing all of last season with an injury.
”Can’t dwell on what already happened,” Marshall tweeted, “just have to keep pushing with God and faith by my side.”
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