When the NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed on a new drug policy, there was some optimism that safety Will Hill would see a reduced suspension and be available much sooner.
That never became the case. With the sixth week of the NFL season upon us, Hill is still suspended for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. The NFL isn't at liberty to disclose what it was, but it was previously reported to be for testing positive for marijuana. However, Hill also had previous performance-enhancing and substance-abuse violations as well.
It's very possible the PED-related suspension played a major part as to why his suspension was not reduced. Regardless, the Ravens will get Hill back in one week and can then take a look to see if he can upgrade the back end.
"We're looking forward to getting Will back," coach John Harbaugh told reporters on Monday. "And then we'll have to eyeball him and see how he looks. That's part of the opportunity there for a week to determine how a player looks coming off suspension. He has been in every meeting. He's very sharp — a football guy. He's very determined to make good, and I'm looking forward to seeing how he takes advantage of this opportunity. He's a good player, and I think he can help us."
Hill has been anxiously waiting, judging by his Twitter account. It also appears he's been getting the necessary work in to stay in game shape.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/picstitch?src=hash">#picstitch</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/5days?src=hash">#5days</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/countdown?src=hash">#countdown</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/steamroom?src=hash">#steamroom</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/getright?src=hash">#getright</a> <a href="http://t.co/pLYZtbdl6t">http://t.co/pLYZtbdl6t</a></p>— Will Hill (@WillThrill25) <a href="https://twitter.com/WillThrill25/status/519432678358020096">October 7, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Safety Darian Stewart had a horrible game against Indianapolis. Matt Elam has been up-and-down all season. Rookie Terrence Brooks has shown glimpses of what he may be able to do down the road. Jeromy Miles, at this point, should be a special teams player only.
Hill would seemingly upgrade the safety position and allow defensive coordinator Dean Pees to mix up his calls in base looks. Of course, this contains the caveat of Hill being able to prove to the Ravens' coaching staff that he can still provide the level of play folks have seen in previous seasons with the Giants.
Tramain Jacobs an option to promote
With cornerback Asa Jackson likely headed to injured reserve-designated to return, the Ravens will only have three corners on the 53-man roster. Those are Lardarius Webb, Jimmy Smith and Chykie Brown. Sure, Matt Elam and Terrence Brooks have played some nickel.
But is it in the team's best interest to go into games with only three active cornerbacks from here on out? Yes, they did it earlier in the season, but it sure seems like a big risk moving forward. You never know what can happen.
With the roster move coming, this may be the opportunity practice squad cornerback Tramain Jacobs has been waiting for. Jacobs, an undrafted rookie out of Texas A&M, impressed during the preseason but was unable to crack the 53-man roster. With Jackson likely not counting toward the active roster soon, the likely choice for the Ravens would be to move Jacobs up.
Derek Cox, Curtis Marsh and Brandon Ghee are among the top available free agent cornerbacks. Cox was on again, off again early on with the Ravens, before the organization seemingly cooled on him. In the past, the Ravens have seemed to prefer moving a practice squad player up due to familiarity with the scheme. Therefore, Jacobs could be of interest. And with depth fairly thin at the position, Jacobs could actually wind up getting some playing time if promoted.