Marlon Humphrey injury deals Baltimore Ravens’ title hopes big blow

Marlon Humphrey injury deals Baltimore Ravens’ title hopes big blow

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey has been among the best players at his position since entering the NFL as a first-round pick out of Alabama back in 2017.

Humphrey, has earned Pro Bowl appearances each of the past two seasons — recording a combined 25 passes defended, 10 forced fumbles and four interceptions while yielding a sub 70 passer rating when targeted.

Unfortunately, Baltimore will be without one of its best players for the remainder of the season. Various reports indicate that Humphrey suffered a shoulder injury in Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and will miss the rest of the campaign.

Talk about adding injury to insult following a narrow 20-19 loss to Pittsburgh. Baltimore is no longer in the driver’s seat for the top seed in the AFC and a first-round playoff bye. It also remains just one game ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals for first place in the division.

Related: Find out where the Baltimore Ravens defense stands in our rankings

Marlon Humphrey injury is latest example of 2021 working against the Ravens

marlon humphrey injury
Oct 11, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey (44) kneels in the end zone prior to the Ravens’ game against the Indianapolis Colts at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Even ahead of Week 1, multiple Ravens core players and starters were lost for the season to injuries. It was about as bleak of a summer as we’ve seen for an NFL team in eons.

  • Gus Edwards, running back
  • J.K. Dobbins, running back
  • Justice Hill, running back
  • Marcus Peters, cornerback

Notice the inclusion of Peters on that list? The Ravens acquired the fellow Pro Bowler during the 2019 season to give them a lockdown duo on the outside. Neither player will suit up during the stretch run with championship aspirations fading in Baltimore. Add in another lost season from All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley, and that’s magnified further.

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However, it’s the Ravens’ previously stout defense that’s going to be impacted the most here. This unit entered Week 13 having yielded a 93.5 passer rating through 11 games. That’s the worst number we’ve seen from this unit in ages.

  • 2021: 93.5
  • 2020: 87.2
  • 2019: 77.5
  • 2018: 80.6
  • 2017: 72.4
  • 2016: 86.9

You get the point. In fact, we have to go back to the Ravens’ five-win 2015 campaign to find a season in which this unit gave up a higher passer rating.

Without the same pass rush we’ve seen in the past following the departures of Pro Bowlers Yannick Ngakoue and Matt Judon this past off-season, the Ravens’ defense just isn’t the same.

The Marlon Humphrey injury now likely means Tavon Young will have to play outside. He’s been Baltimore’s primary slot guy this season. It will also likely lead to a washed Jimmy Smith seeing more action.

Now at 8-4 on the season, Baltimore isn’t even guaranteed a playoff spot at this point. All five of the Ravens’ remaining regular-season games are against teams who currently find themselves .500 or better. That includes outings against the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Joe Burrow, Matthew Stafford and Ben Roethlisberger.

It’s not yet panic time for Baltimore. But the Marlon Humphrey injury is going to lead to some nervous nights for respected defensive coordinator Don Martindale. That’s for sure.

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Author: Vincent Frank

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