The Baltimore Ravens were delivered several tough blows on the injury front in their season-opening win over the Houston Texans. While the bulk of them were sustained on offense, the lone injury on defense was the pectoral injury suffered by veteran free safety Marcus Williams.
Even though his injury might not end up being season-ending, it will still put him out of commission for a significant amount of time. Williams still has a chance of possibly returning later this season.
On Tuesday, the Ravens are going to sign veteran safety Duron Harmon to their practice squad to reinforce their depth at the position in the meantime. The move was first reported by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and later confirmed by the team along with a few other roster transactions including the signing of Daryl Worley to the 53-man roster, the placement of running back J.K. Dobbins on injured reserve, and the release of cornerback Tae Hayes.
We have signed DB Daryl Worley to the 53-man roster and S Duron Harmon to the practice squad.https://t.co/PjqmU5diap— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 12, 2023
Harmon is an 11-year veteran with extensive starting experience and championship pedigree having played in four Super Bowls and won three with the New England Patriots from 2013-2019. He has played for three different teams in the last three seasons but has maintained his starter status with each and has a total of 84 career starts including the playoffs.
The 32-year-old most recently spent last season with the Las Vegas Raiders where he started all but one game and recorded career-highs with 86 total tackles and two forced fumbles as well as five pass breakups, and two interceptions—one of which he returned for his first career touchdown.
Up until now, Harmon was a player who lived infamously on the wrong side of Ravens history as he was the player who hauled in the game-sealing interception of former franchise quarterback Joe Flacco in the Divisional Round of the 2014 playoffs. The play punched the Patriots ticket to Super Bowl 49 where they would go on to beat the defending champion Seattle Seahawks and sent the Ravens home packing.
As for what he can provide this year’s Ravens’ team that has championship aspirations of their own, Harmon still possesses impressive ball skills and will be great depth behind fourth-year pro Geno Stone who is slated to start in place of the injured Williams for the second year in a row.
The Ravens are grateful that they still have Stone and for the invaluable experience he was able to gain in his seven-game stint as a starter in 2022 when Williams was out with a dislocated wrist. The 2020 seventh-round pick finished the year with 38 total tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a pass breakup.
UNBELIEVABLY high level play by Geno Stone.— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) November 2, 2022
Earlier, Ravens ran a cross dog blitz and Brady immediately threw where the blitz vacated.
Here, Ravens know it will happen again, send Hamilton as bait and Geno Stone makes an awesome play for a PBU on third down. HUGE stop. pic.twitter.com/5eyDluWMVn
“I still feel really good about our defense because Geno is going to be Geno,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday. “He’s not going to try and be Marcus [Williams], and he’s going to play the way he plays, and he’s proven he can play very well back there. So, I have all the confidence in the world in Geno, Daryl Worley and anybody we might bring in here. We have some options. But those guys especially Geno who’s done it before”
If and when Harmon is activated for regular season action, he’d allow Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald the schematic flexibility to utilize Stone and second-year safety Kyle Hamilton in different ways by still being able to confidently deploy multiple safety sets.