Over the course of the offseason, I have mentioned it has been a tale of two halves for Baltimore. Pre-Lamar contract and post Lamar contract. Last week’s news was a return to the darkest timeline. Marlon Humphrey is set to miss up to a month. While a relatively short term injury prior to the start of the season is manageable, Marlon Humphrey is just about the most indispensable player for the Ravens.
Having lost Marcus Peters in free agency, Rock Ya-Sin was brought in a serviceable option opposite Peters. Now though, he is elevated to a subpar number one option. Ronald Darby has now been signed as cover alongside incumbents Arthur Maulet, Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams. It appears these are the options that the Ravens will go into the season relying on.
The Ravens start the season hosting the Texans and Colts, sandwiching a trip to Cincinnati. The threat of Joe Burrow, Jamarr Chase and co puts real pressure on Humphrey to be fit for week 2. Even with the senior cornerback option, the Ravens risk being outmatched on the perimeter.
How The Ravens Attempt To Fix The Defence
Now comes the attempt to mitigate the damage. Jadeveon Clowney has been brought in to bolster the pass rush options and replace Justin Houston’s snaps. A faster pass rush will reduce the time that the secondary has to cover receiving options but it can only do so much. Additionally, more responsibility will be given to the all star Safety duo of Marcus Williams and Kyle Hamilton, giving less space for the corners to cover. Backup Safety Geno Stone may also deputise at corner. DC Mike Macdonald may well also dial down his aggressive play calling by necessity, but this risks a death by 1000 cuts.
Cornerback is a difficult position to recruit, especially a high quality starter in August. The Ravens are doing what they can but there’s no doubt about it: Marlon Humphrey’s return can’t come soon enough.
Image: Gail Burton / AP