Rookie wide receiver Devin Duvernay has kicked off his NFL career with two receptions for 31 yards and five kick returns for 119 yards during his first two games with the Ravens. Baltimore is 2-0 to start the season and is coming off a 33-16 win against the Houston Texans Sept. 20.
Duvernay is one of 10 rookies on the Ravens’ active roster. The rookie class also includes running back J.K. Dobbins and linebacker Patrick Queen, both of whom are already proving to be productive players. Dobbins has run for 70 yards and two touchdowns during the first two games of the season, while Queen has posted 17 tackles and one sack.
“I think coach [John] Harbaugh and the veterans did a good job making sure us rookies had enough reps in practice and kind of that simulated training camp to make sure we were ready for the season,” Duvernay said on Glenn Clark Radio on Sept. 22. “I think that we did a pretty good job. I mean, I’ve been feeling comfortable out there and things have been going good. I think with everything that was going on, it’s all been going good so far.”
Duvernay was drafted by the Ravens in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He had 176 receptions for 2,468 yards and 16 touchdowns during his four years at Texas. But now comes the biggest game of his young career, as Duvernay will be asked to contribute against the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on “Monday Night Football” Sept. 28.
“Big game, that’s honestly what comes to mind. Playing the Chiefs, you know it’s a big game, you know it’s important. It means something,” Duvernay said.
When asked how the team stays grounded before a big game, Duvernay said, “You’ve got to take it one day at a time. You can’t get too high, don’t get too low. Coach always says don’t peak too early. I think that’s perfect. You can’t peak too early. Like I said, take it day by day, step by step and then it will come as it comes, and be ready when the game comes.”
Third-year quarterback Lamar Jackson has also had a successful start to the season with 479 passing yards and four touchdowns through the Ravens’ first two games. Coming off of an MVP season, Jackson continues to find the open man, whether that be Marquise Brown, Mark Andrews, Willie Snead, Miles Boykin or Duvernay.
“He gets it done, whatever he has to do. That definitely is a big help,” Duvernay said, later adding that “we’re only going to get better. He’s going to get to know me better. I’m going get to know him better, and it’s things like that that keep this thing rolling.”
Many games thus far have been played in empty stadiums due to the COVID-19 pandemic, creating an eerie feeling for many players and coaches. That’ll be the case for the Ravens-Chiefs game in Baltimore.
“When there’s a turnover or a big play and there’s just silence,” Duvernay said of the strangeness of playing without fans. “You’ll normally hear the crowd erupt, or the crowd goes silent if you’re away. You have to stay engaged, keep everybody going.”
“Especially without fans, it can be easy to go flat, to not be as enthusiastic about the game so you do have to bring your own energy … to keep everybody going,” he added.
Though Duvernay has only been part of the organization since April, the team has already left a very positive impression on him.
“We get to just be ourselves. I love it. Coach Harbaugh and everybody lets us be ourselves, express ourselves and just have fun,” Duvernay said. “I feel like ultimately, that’s the point of this game — have fun, be loose and the rest will come with it.”
For more from Duvernay, listen to the full interview here:
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