Nearly two years removed from suffering a gruesome knee injury, one that has required multiple surgeries and clean-up procedures, Baltimore Ravens’ tight end Nick Boyle is on track to return to being a key contributor in the team’s offense.
Like all of the Ravens’ players returning from a significant injury or surgery, the team is taking an overly cautious approach to getting Boyle back up to speed. That plan includes taking every other day off of practice in training camp as part of a “ramp-up” regimen that the training staff and coaches developed.
Coach Harbaugh on building Nick Boyle's practice load: pic.twitter.com/UwNEaKn8Qe— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 6, 2022
Boyle thinks it’s a great plan that was well thought out, and said it’s a smart way to go about bringing him along at a steady pace that isn’t too strenuous.
“With ramping up, being in pads, getting back to actual football while feeling good and just going out there and making sure that every time I go out to practice, I’m feeling good and getting better,” Boyle said.
Even though he has slimmed down this offseason, Boyle says that he hasn’t lost any of his strength or power. He added that getting acclimated to doing regular football activities and getting back in the right mentality are his biggest challenges at the moment.
“The challenging thing for me is just getting back to technique, getting back to hitting people, driving my feet through contact,” Boyle said. “Simple things like that which I know I’ll be done.
Boyle chases perfection with every rep and gets frustrated when he doesn’t execute as consistently as he did pre-injury. He is determined to strive to be back to that point and be even better.
“When I go out there, I want to be perfect,” Boyle said. “I’m very impatient with it. So, when I go out there and don’t do it, I’m like, ‘Man, I’m awful.’ That’s just how I feel. Then I look at it and it’s not as bad. But that also fuels me to go out there every day and get way way better.”
He said that he “needs to play in preseason games” because he’s still getting back to the physical blocker he once was before his knee injury.
“That’ll be really good for me,” Boyle said. “I think those are kind of like reps that you can’t get out on the practice field although you’re in pads and I look forward to playing.
When healthy, Boyle is an integral cog in making the Ravens’ offense hum. He can dominate as a devastating blocker in both the run and pass game, and he’s underrated receiving outlet for Lamar Jackson as well. Earlier in the week, Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman reiterated as much when he spoke with the media.