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Ravens News 9/12: In-house Replacements and more

Baltimore Ravens v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Ravens-Texans in review: Highlights, notables and quotables from a Week 1 victory

Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun

Players of the game

WR Zay Flowers: The Ravens’ first-round draft pick followed up a sensational summer with nine catches on 10 targets for 78 yards in his debut. Flowers also carried twice for nine yards as the busiest playmaker on the team.

CB Ronald Darby: Darby did an admirable job stepping in for the injured Marlon Humphrey with seven tackles, one for loss, and a pass defended. He and fellow cornerback Brandon Stephens kept plays in front of them and showed the punishing style the Ravens favor.

LB David Ojabo: The most picked apart player in preseason delivered one of the key defensive plays of the opener with a strip sack that put the Texans away for good. Ojabo made three tackles and allayed fears that he’s not ready to contribute.

Quote of the day

Guard Kevin Zeitler on a “wake-up call” of a season opener: “I think the guys on the team and in this organization have a high standard, and I think we know that standard probably wasn’t lived up to. We got the win, but I think everyone knows what we want to be. In terms of Ravens style, we’re going to go and get better as fast as we can.”

NFL Week 1: Big questions, risers, fallers and takeaways

Jamison Hensley, ESPN

What will the Ravens do now that J.K. Dobbins is done for the season? Dobbins left the game early in the third quarter, and coach John Harbaugh later said he suffered a torn Achilles and is done for the season. The Ravens will split carries between Gus Edwards and Justice Hill. On Sunday, Edwards received a lot of the snaps in early downs and Hill surprisingly was given most of the touches in the red zone. Hill, a fourth-round pick in 2019, scored two touchdowns in the season opener after totaling two rushing touchdowns in his first 43 career games. Hill is rostered in 0.3% of ESPN fantasy leagues and was started in less than 0.1% of them.

Stock up after the win: WR Zay Flowers. The rookie first-round pick was the top offensive weapon with 78 yards receiving and 9 yards rushing, nearly becoming the second player in Ravens history with 100 scrimmage yards in his first career game.

Stock down after the win: QB Lamar Jackson. Pressured throughout the game, Jackson looked like a quarterback who hadn’t played in 280 days, recording his first game with multiple turnovers (an interception and fumble) since Week 6 of 2022.

Odell Beckham Jr. ‘Feels the Love’ in Ravens Debut

Clifton Brown,

Beckham had a relatively quiet game by his standards – two catches for 37 yards. However, he drew two pass interference penalties and attention from Houston’s defense that helped Zay Flowers (nine catches, 78 yards) have a big day.

Beckham’s biggest play came in the fourth quarter, when he got behind Texans cornerback Shaquill Griffin for a 29-yard reception. The coverage by Griffin was tight, but Jackson put enough air under the ball to give Beckham time to make a perfect adjustment to his route. Beckham looked like a centerfielder tracking down a deep fly ball, and his perfect over-the-shoulder catch brought the crowd to its feet.

“We’re going to go watch the film, and I don’t think too many people are going to be happy,” Beckham said. “There were a lot of little mistakes and a lot of things that in a bigger game another team might take advantage of. So, there are a lot of things we need to do. We’ll get back to the drawing board. But it’s still (nice) to be able to see the ‘W’ in an ugly win. There are a lot of things we can improve on. I’m excited about that.”

John Harbaugh says Ravens will not look to add RB after losing J.K. Dobbins for rest of season

Kevin Patra,

With Justice Hill and Gus Edwards on the active roster, Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh also mentioned Melvin Gordon, currently on the team’s practice squad, as a possible call-up.

“I think that we’re good. I like the guys we’ve got,” Harbaugh told reporters on Monday. “Melvin, he’s here for a reason. Certainly didn’t expect it to be this quick, but that’s why he’s here, that’s why he wanted to stay here, I think, because he likes it here. He likes the offense and he likes the environment. He’s a heck of a talented guy. You saw him in the preseason. He’s a proven back. So I’m very, very glad that he’s here.”

Hill and Edwards split carries after Dobbins went down with the injury during the Ravens’ season-opening 25-9 win over the Texans on Sunday. Hill earned nine yards on eight carries and punched in two short TDs. Edwards finished with eight carries for 32 yards.

How the Baltimore Ravens Can Replace J.K. Dobbins and Marcus Williams

Dalton Robinson. Pro Football Network

Losing Marcus Williams Would Be a Crushing Blow to Baltimore’s Secondary

While it’s still unclear whether Williams will be sidelined for the rest of the season, his loss would be devastating for the Ravens.

Internal Options

Baltimore traded safety Chuck Clark to the Jets over the offseason, so he’s no longer around to soak up snaps in the club’s defensive backfield.

Instead, 2020 seventh-round pick Geno Stone saw an increased role against the Texans and ultimately played 60 snaps. Stone, a free agent in 2024, could create an offseason market for his services by producing over the rest of the season.

The Ravens also have two safeties on their practice squad: veteran Daryl Worley and rookie UDFA Jeremy Lucien. Worley, a longtime corner who recently transitioned to safety, would be the favorite for promotion.

Free Agents

The free agent safety market doesn’t contain nearly as many options as the FA running back group, but the Ravens will have veterans they can target.

Duron Harmon has 78 career starts under his belt but isn’t currently on the roster. Lamarcus Joyner struggled with the Jets last season but offers a wealth of experience. DeAndre Houston-Carson was primarily a special teamer until 2021, but he was with Baltimore over the summer before being released at final cutdowns.

Eric Rowe (Panthers) and Jonathan Abram (Saints) are currently on practice squads but could emerge as possibilities for the Ravens.