OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Suffering a pectoral injury against Houston in the season opener, Ravens safety Marcus Williams has come to a decision after weighing his treatment options.
That he wasn’t placed on injured reserve over the weekend was a clue as to what he had decided.
“Marcus is not getting the surgery, so he’s just rehabbing right now to get himself back on the field,” said head coach John Harbaugh, who confirmed Williams will not go on IR. “There’s sort of a vague time frame right now, but I just don’t want to put it out there and then everybody be mad at me later.”
Any player placed on IR must miss a minimum of four games before being eligible to return, leading one to assume the Ravens believe Williams at least has a chance to return within the next few weeks. The day after the injury occurred against the Texans, Harbaugh acknowledged the 27-year-old would be “out for a while” with the possibility of missing the rest of the season if he were to have surgery.
With the way Geno Stone played in the 27-24 win over the Bengals on Sunday, the Ravens can afford to be conservative with Williams, who missed seven games last season with a wrist injury. A 2020 seventh-round pick out of Iowa, Stone registered a team-high nine tackles and intercepted a Joe Burrow pass at the goal line to halt a Cincinnati scoring threat early in the third quarter.
Expressing cautious optimism after Sunday’s win when asked about wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and outside linebacker Odafe Oweh exiting with ankle injuries, Harbaugh was guarded about their short-term status on Monday.
“We’ve got a lot more information. I’m going to keep that close to the vest though right now,” Harbaugh said. “I can tell you this — if there’s any long-term issue, we’ll let you know what it is if it’s going to be anything like any kind of an IR thing or anything like that. We’re not there yet with anybody, and when we get there, we’ll let you know.”
With Oweh leaving the game early in the third quarter and playing only 14 defensive snaps, defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald leaned heavily on Jadeveon Clowney and David Ojabo, who both played at least 70% of the defensive snaps on Sunday. Reporters spotted Oweh wearing a walking boot as he left the locker room after the game.
Labeled “a wrecking ball” by Harbaugh, Clowney registered the only sack of the game and was credited with four tackles, an additional quarterback hit, and a pass breakup to continue his strong start to the 2023 season.