OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Just a couple weeks after making his return from a pectoral injury suffered in the Ravens’ season opener, Marcus Williams once again found himself on the sideline in the second half of Sunday’s win in London.
The free safety suffered a hamstring injury in the third quarter of the 24-16 win over the Titans and now appears likely to miss the Week 7 showdown with Detroit. It’s a frustrating development for Williams, who had missed a total of just four games over five seasons with New Orleans before signing with Baltimore last year. The 27-year-old missed seven games with a wrist injury in his debut season with the Ravens and sat out three games with the pectoral injury originally feared to be a long-term or season-ending injury last month.
Williams would once again be replaced by Geno Stone, who has started 10 games in his place over the last two seasons.
“That’s challenging. It’s kind of how it goes sometimes,” said head coach John Harbaugh about Williams dealing with another injury. “He was trying to block on the return on Geno’s interception return and was kind of hit sort of from behind on the side and that kind of made the hamstring strain. It’s not a long-term hamstring [injury], but hamstrings are finicky, so, it’s not going to be a couple of days. It’s going to be week to week probably. I think he’s going to be really iffy for this week, and after that, we’ll see where it goes.”
Harbaugh casting such doubt on a player’s status for the upcoming game almost always signals an absence for that week and often longer. The silver lining is having such a high-quality backup in Stone, who entered Monday tied for the NFL lead with three interceptions.
Pro Football Focus has graded Stone as one of the NFL’s best safeties so far this season, making his one-year, $1.76 million deal one of the biggest bargains on the Ravens after the fourth-year safety was originally non-tendered as a restricted free agent in March.
“When his opportunity comes, he’s prepared and he makes the most of it,” Harbaugh said. “That’s something that it’s just great to see, and it’s a good lesson I think for young people. If they’re going to watch that [and say] ‘I want to be great at something’ or ‘I want to be a pro football player,’ watch Geno Stone and what he’s been doing.”
Williams wasn’t the only player injured in Week 6 as defensive end Brent Urban is dealing with “stinger issues” in his neck, cornerback Kevon Seymour hurt his ankle, and linebacker Malik Harrison is in the concussion protocol. Harbaugh said Harrison is “clearing very quickly,” which is good news with the 2020 third-round pick seeing increasing snaps at the Sam linebacker spot in recent weeks.
Speaking of outside linebackers, Harbaugh said Odafe Oweh is “close” to returning to practice after missing the last four games with an ankle injury sustained in Week 2. Though not eligible to be activated from injured reserve until Week 8, David Ojabo’s potential return from a high ankle sprain and sprained knee is “in the neighborhood here in the next few weeks,” according to Harbaugh.
Unfortunately, the latest update on Tyus Bowser wasn’t nearly as encouraging as the veteran outside linebacker remains on the non-football injury list with a mysterious knee injury that first surfaced in the spring. At the very least, his 2023 season debut doesn’t sound imminent.
“I’m going to let Tyus comment on that. That’s gotten a little more complicated over the last couple of weeks,” Harbaugh said. “I’m really not at liberty to talk about it right now, but at some point in time, I’m sure we’ll have an announcement on that one way or another. He has to make some choices and decisions.”