With the Ravens losing rookie tight end Nick Boyle to a suspension for the final four games of the 2015 NFL season, the once deepest position group on the team suddenly became the weakest. The Ravens would even go on to sign two additional tight ends this week to help make up for the gap.
Fellow rookie tight end Maxx Williams would be injured with a concussion against the Cleveland Browns, and would fail the concussion protocol heading into the Miami Dolphins week 13 game. Starting tight end Crockett Gillmore has had his fair share of injuries this season, but would be spun around on a hit against the Miami Dolphins and be ruled out the rest of the game with a back injury.
When asked about the health of his tight ends, Harbaugh was optimistic on both Williams and Gillmore's chances to play against the Seattle Seahawks.
I think Maxx and Crockett both have a really good chance to play. We’ll see how that goes. Maxx tells me he’s playing. He’s going through concussion protocol, so that’s always going to be something that’s hard to determine, but he’s a guy that [we are] pretty certain he’s going to play. We’ll see how it goes. And Crockett is the same way. Crockett has had a myriad of nicks and bruises and contusions and all those kind of things like that, and this is another one. It’ll just be day to day. He will not have to practice to play, for sure. With our situation at tight end, if he can play, he’s going to be out there playing. That’s just the kind of guy he is. We’ll just have to play it day by day.
If the original starters are not able to get healthy in time, the Ravens will turn to a combination of Konrad Reuland and Richard Gordon for the game. Both players were added to the 53-man roster on Tuesday to give the coaches some options. Even better is that fullback Kyle Juszczyk can be used as a tight end if needed.
Of course, Kyle [Juszczyk] fits into all those heavy-type groups.
Juice has 29 receptions for 222 yards and even added two touchdowns this season for the Ravens as a receiver. With the Ravens looking at starting two players that might not be up to the typical quality that they are used to, the fullback might find himself put on the line of scrimmage and used in that capacity even more.
Luckily for the Ravens though, it sounds like both Gillmore and Williams are demanding to be back this week. We'll have a better idea once we see the injury reports starting today, but I wouldn't bet against them.