On a team struggling to get to the passer from the edges, Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Matt Judon being deactivated during two straight loses has rubbed some fans the wrong way, rightfully so.
Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil being out of the lineup is a big loss as a proven pass rusher but at this point, it could be argued that it is a net positive. Judon sitting and collecting splinters will not make him a better player. The extra rep can only help.
As for the Ravens defense as a whole, it will not suffer. Dumervil does not bring much to run defense and does not provide the hustle Judon does, as he has been seen chasing down bubble screens.
Now that the opportunity has come, Judon needs to grasp it until his knuckles turn white. Showing improved fundamentals and being more efficient with his pass rushing opportunities will force the coaching staff to keep him on the field, regardless of Dumervil's status.
Judon will look to spark to spark a four man rush that has been largely missing for the Ravens defense. He could benefit by being allowed to rush from the three and four point stances he played in college. If Judon steps up, his impact could have a trickle down effect on the rest of the defense, as it would allow Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees, to keep two safeties back more often.