OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Preparing to face one of the NFL’s top wide receiver duos, the Ravens are ailing in the secondary with their top three cornerbacks officially questionable for Sunday’s clash with Miami.
While Baltimore hopes to see Marcus Peters make his 2022 season debut against the Dolphins after last September’s ACL injury, both Marlon Humphrey (groin) and Brandon Stephens (quadriceps) missed Friday’s workout with ailments believed to have surfaced during practices earlier in the week. Humphrey was added to Thursday’s injury report as a limited participant while Stephens sat out the final two practices of the week after being limited on Wednesday. Peters participated fully on Thursday — the first time he’s done that since his mid-August return to the practice field — before again being limited for the final day of the week, creating a little more doubt regarding his status.
Of course, such injury concerns come at an unfortunate time with the Ravens needing to contain the speedy duo of six-time Pro Bowl receiver Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, who esclipsed 100 catches and 1,000 receiving yards as a rookie last season. Baltimore already lost former Pro Bowl cornerback Kyle Fuller to a season-ending torn ACL in the season opener.
Any combination of Humphrey, Peters, and Stephens missing Sunday’s game would press rookie fourth-round picks Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams into more extensive defensive action. Both missed time over the summer due to health concerns with Armour-Davis not playing in any of the three preseason games. Williams played 13 defensive snaps in Week 1 while Armour-Davis saw three.
“They’d be ready. They look good, but they’re rookies,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “It’d be a new experience for them, but they’ve worked hard. They’re talented guys. They’re going to be playing regardless. They’ll be out there playing in the game both on defense and special teams no matter what the numbers end up being.”
The Ravens also have veteran cornerbacks Daryl Worley and T.J. Carrie on the practice squad.
In addition to Humphrey, Peters, and Stephens, the Ravens listed running back J.K. Dobbins (knee), fullback Patrick Ricard (calf), and defensive tackle Travis Jones (knee) as questionable on the final injury report. Ricard practiced on a limited basis Friday after sitting out the first two practices of the week while Jones was a full participant on Thursday and Friday.
Speaking to reporters at the Owings Mills training facility for the first time since suffering a severe left knee injury in the 2021 preseason finale, Dobbins was noncommittal about his status for Sunday despite being a full practice participant all week. However, the 23-year-old said he’ll savor the moment whenever he returns to game action after rehabbing tears to his ACL, LCL, meniscus, and hamstring over the last year.
Dobbins says he’s learned plenty of patience through such a difficult process.
“It’ll be a surreal feeling just to get back out there after 13, 12 months,” Dobbins said. “I can’t remember the exact time frame, but it will be great to get back out there in front of a full stadium. I haven’t done that yet since I’ve been in Baltimore. I know that I’ll be feeling excited, and hopefully, the fans will be feeling excited as well.”
With former All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) still not practicing on consecutive days and officially doubtful for Week 2, Patrick Mekari is set to make an NFL start at a fourth different offensive line position in his four-year career, which is quite an impressive feat of versatility.
“It’s probably pretty darn rare. He’s played all five in practice — I promise you — plus tight end, so he’s just that kind of player,” said Harbaugh about Mekari, who replaced the injured Ja’Wuan James in the opener. “He plays well at every spot, and now he’s playing left tackle, arguably the physically toughest position to play on the offensive line. We’ve very grateful that he’s on our team, and he is who he is.”
Miami is dealing with its own problems along the offensive line after placing right tackle Austin Jackson on injured reserve with an ankle injury sustained in Week 1. Three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead was designated as questionable for Sunday’s game after being limited with a toe injury all week.
Below is the final injury report for Week 2:
DOUBTFUL: WR James Proche (groin), OT Ronnie Stanley (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: RB J.K. Dobbins (knee), CB Marlon Humphrey (groin), DT Travis Jones (knee), CB Marcus Peters (knee), FB Patrick Ricard (calf), CB Brandon Stephens (quad)
OUT: TE Cethan Carter (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Salvon Ahmed (heel), OT Terron Armstead (toe), TE Hunter Long (ankle), DT Christian Wilkins (back), WR Cedrick Wilson Jr. (toe)