The Baltimore Ravens are heading into a crucial stretch of their season at 4-5, facing a visit from the rival Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon. There are many questions surrounding the team, such as who will start at quarterback considering Joe Flacco’s injury (and poor form), and will head coach John Harbaugh still be employed by the organization after the season.
With all of this going on, some of the more seemingly inconsequential moves being made (such as practice squad additions) are bound to fly under the radar. As far as practice squad moves go, they made one on Wednesday that could be relatively significant down the line as it relates to what’s been a somewhat transient position for the team in 2018.
That would be return specialist, where Baltimore has had some struggles over the course of the year. That was especially true before they brought in former New England Patriots second round pick Cyrus Jones.
Jones has done a nice job filling in for his hometown team at the position, which is encouraging considering his history of fumbling ultimately got him jettisoned front Foxboro. Hopefully that issue doesn’t pop back up for him anytime soon, but if it does, a new practice squad addition may be able to step in for him:
We have signed RB Tyler Ervin to our practice squad and released DB Makinton Dorleant.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 14, 2018
A 2016 fourth rounder out of San Jose State, Ervin was solid for Houston as a returner this year, posting an average of 25.3 yards on kickoffs and an additional 8.3 on punt returns. He also spent some time filling in as a slot receiver after some injuries at the position had piled up ahead of him.
His versatility could certainly help him, and he was a player who had drawn the praise of Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien in the past. On the surface, he appears to be a player that’s capable enough to have a spot on a 53 man roster, so this could end up being a sneaky good pickup at some point this season.
The Ravens currently have a bit of a pile up at running back with Alex Collins, Buck Allen, Gus Edwards, and the other new acquisition in Ty Montgomery. Complicating that even further is the fact that Montgomery is ideally just a souped up version of Ervin, but with injuries and dips in form always a threat to strike, a multi-tool player like Ervin is always nice to have around.
We’ll see if the 53 man roster is something that’s ultimately in the cards for the new pick up, but with the team and organization in such a state of flux, it does seem to be a possibility at some point. If he does get the call up, hopefully that versatility will help the team as they definitely could use the spark.