Ravens lose veteran tight end Watson for season


BALTIMORE — On the same night the Ravens officially welcomed back Terrell Suggs from an Achilles tear suffered almost a year ago, they lost another veteran to the same injury.
Tight end Benjamin Watson sustained a torn right Achilles tendon on the first offensive play of Saturday’s preseason game against the Detroit Lions and will miss the rest of the season. The 35-year-old went down immediately as the passing play began and had to be helped off the field and to the locker room.
The Ravens lost both Suggs and wide receiver Steve Smith to Achilles injuries last season.
“It’s a horrible feeling,” said Suggs, who saw his first live-game action since tearing his left Achilles on Sept. 13, 2015. “When you work hard all offseason and you prepare to have a really good year, to lose it on an injury — especially an injury like that — it’s heartbreaking. But it’s not the end of the world, and you just start with the next day.”
Signed to a two-year, $7 million contract in March, Watson was expected to be Baltimore’s starting tight end after a career year with New Orleans in 2015. He has caught 434 passes for 4,963 yards and 38 touchdowns in his 13-year career.
Tight end was expected to be a position of strength for the Ravens this season, but veteran Dennis Pitta and 2015 second-round pick Maxx Williams have missed extensive time with injuries this preseason and Darren Waller and Nick Boyle are both suspended to begin the regular season. Watson’s injury moves third-year tight end Crockett Gillmore to the top of the current depth chart, but injuries have hampered him at various times in his brief career.
Converted wide receiver Daniel Brown will now become more of a player of interest with final cuts only a week away and Pitta and Williams missing Saturday’s game due to injury.