The Baltimore Ravens can't catch a break on the injury front as of late. Today’s latest development, though, at least isn't another of the season-ending variety.
On Friday, the Ravens placed veteran tight end Nick Boyle on injured reserve. This means he'll miss the first three games of the regular season and delay his 2021 debut to at least Week 4.
Coach Harbaugh also announced that TE Nick Boyle will go on short term IR and he expects him to return. pic.twitter.com/M1iekPcKOI— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 10, 2021
The run blocking extraordinaire suffered a season-ending knee injury last November and had a clean up procedure that sidelined him for the entire preseason. Head Coach John Harbaugh announced the move while addressing the media and still expressed some cautious optimism about a timetable for his eventual return.
"Just get his knee right, get his body right," Harbaugh said. "We expect him to be back Week 4, Week 5, somewhere in there, whenever he gets back."
Unlike in years past, the Ravens and the other 31 teams around the league have an unlimited amount times they can place players on injured reserve and bring them back. This is because the NFL carried over many of it's COVID rules and exemptions from the 2020 season.
The Ravens were holding out hope that Boyle would be able to take the field to start the season after he returned to practice on September 1 and was practicing this week prior to sitting out the last two days.
Harbaugh didn't disclose if he had suffered any setbacks but the team does have a contingency plan in place with veteran Eric Tomlinson, who also excels as a blocker and showed up more as a receiver in the preseason. They also have Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard, who can help offset Boyle's absence in the run game. Starting tight end Mark Andrews has improved his blocking each year he's been in the league.