Back in the early stages of the 2016 offseason, the Baltimore Ravens signed free agent tight end Benjamin Watson away from the New Orleans Saints. Despite his age, Watson was coming off a tremendous year, catching 74 receptions, 825 yards, and 6 touchdowns with Drew Brees. After the 2015 season, the Ravens needed to make a signing like Watson, due to the questions at tight end, including not knowing if Dennis Pitta was going to play again.
In training camp, Watson and Flacco were forming good chemistry with each other, and it looked that Watson would become one of Flacco's go-to guys as the starting quarterback was coming off a torn ACL. Sadly, Watson never had the chance to really translate those practices into the regular-season, as he suffered a torn Achilles in the preseason. Ending his season, and possibly his Ravens career before it started.
Baltimore decided to bring back the veteran for the 2017 year, and that decision proved to be the right one, with Pitta suffering yet another hip injury, ending his season and forcing the team to release him. Darren Waller was suspended for the year, and Crockett Gillmore is also done for the year with another injury, this time to his MCL.
At the age of 36, and coming off the torn Achilles, Watson is being called upon to make up for the losses at the position. While he was quiet against the Cincinnati Bengals a week ago, Watson broke through on Sunday. He finished the day with 8 catches for 91-yards, and asserted himself as a security blanket for Flacco, as he recovers from his back injury. Watson was constantly big when Flacco needed him, including when the quarterback rolled to his right on 2nd & 14, completing the pass to Watson as the tight end made a remarkable leaping catch for a 21-yard gain. The reception was a big part in a drive that ended in a Flacco touchdown pass to Javorius Allen.
For the Ravens, it was very encouraging to see the chemistry that Watson had formed with Flacco show in the regular season. For Watson himself, it was a long time coming for a 36-year old tight end who had to work incredibly hard to get back on the field. With the veteran having his breakout game, and Maxx Williams injury which saw him leave M&T Bank Stadium with a walking boot, Watson will be called upon even more for this offense and for Flacco.