Friday, September 30, 2022

Ravens place Edwards on reserve-PUP list, waive five others to trim roster to 80

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

After expressing doubt about Gus Edwards’ Week 1 availability before the start of training camp last month, the Ravens officially placed the fifth-year running back on the reserve physically unable to perform list on Tuesday.

The move was anticipated with Edwards still rehabilitating a serious knee injury suffered days before the start of the 2021 season. The 27-year-old will now miss at least four regular-season games before he is eligible to begin practicing and then return to live action, meaning the Ravens will have until at least early October to see how his surgically-repaired knee is progressing. Edwards will not count against the 53-man roster when teams make final cuts next Tuesday.

The Ravens sorely missed Edwards’ physical running style and career 5.2 yards per carry average last year as they were forced to rely on veteran backs Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray for the bulk of their 8-9 season. The 6-foot-1, 238-pound back rushed for at least 700 yards in each of his first three NFL seasons before tearing his ACL last September.

Edwards’ early-season absence puts an even brighter spotlight on fellow running back J.K. Dobbins, who has been practicing on a very limited basis since being activated from the PUP list on Aug. 8. Returning from his own ACL injury suffered in last year’s preseason finale, the 23-year-old Dobbins has ramped up his activity level and shown improvement in his movements, but he still hasn’t looked 100%, making it fair to wonder about his status for the Sept. 11 opener against the New York Jets.

With Dobbins still working his way back to full strength, Harbaugh and the coaching staff have taken extensive looks at veterans Mike Davis and Justice Hill as well as rookie sixth-round Tyler Badie with some combination of that trio expected to have a bigger workload early in the season.

The Ravens also officially announced the signing of Demarcus Robinson on Tuesday after agreeing to terms with the former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver late last week. Reportedly guaranteed just under $900,000 by general manager Eric DeCosta, Robinson appears to be all but a lock to make the 53-man roster despite being waived by Las Vegas last week.

Robinson, 27, caught 25 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns in 17 games last season and registered 145 receptions for 1,679 yards and 14 touchdowns over his first six seasons — all with the Chiefs.

Needing to trim their roster to 80 players by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline, the Ravens waived former Navy inside linebacker Diego Fagot, offensive tackle Jaryd Jones-Smith, and wide receivers Jaylon Moore, Bailey Gaither, and Slade Bolden. Moore was the one relative surprise from that group since he was vying for a roster spot after spending the last two seasons on the practice squad. Fagot had plenty of local fans rooting for him, but he hadn’t stood out during practices and played only 10 defensive snaps in Sunday’s win at Arizona, a clear sign that he wasn’t in serious contention for a 53-man roster spot.

Returning to the field on Tuesday afternoon, the Ravens welcomed rookie center Tyler Linderbaum and wide receiver Tylan Wallace back to practice. Linderbaum hadn’t practiced since hurting his left foot on Aug. 4 while Wallace had been sidelined since spraining his knee in the preseason opener on Aug. 11.

With Week 1 less than three weeks away, the clock continues ticking for left tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) and outside linebacker Tyus Bowser (Achilles tendon) to begin practicing and stack enough workdays to be ready for the start of the regular season. Neither one is believed to be a candidate to go on the reserve PUP list like Edwards, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be ready to play against the Jets.

“I’m going to say I’d like to see them out there [practicing] for three weeks. Now, is that going to be possible for Week 1? Will they be ready? Will that be enough?” Harbaugh said after Tuesday’s practice. “Ronnie and Tyus have both gone really hard with the conditioning. I watched Ronnie out here before practice with the trainers, so he looks like he’s in really good shape and Tyus looks like he’s in really good shape.

“Could you speed it up a little bit if they look really great at practice? You probably could. We’ll just have to see how it goes and see how they feel. A lot of it’s how the player feels at that point.”

Harbaugh said rookie defensive tackle Travis Jones’s absence is expected to be “one of those three-, four-, five-week deals — somewhere in that range.” The talented third-round pick out of Connecticut sustained a hyperextended left knee in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game. If the Ravens determine Jones to be on the longer end of that recovery timetable over the next week or so, they could consider placing him on injured reserve after the initial 53-man roster is set, but that move would require him to miss at least the first four games of the regular season.

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