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Marcus Williams rehabbing pectoral injury; will NOT go on injured reserve

The Ravens star safety opts to rehab injury over season-ending surgery

NFL: Baltimore Ravens Training Camp Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports

After sustaining a pectoral injury against the Houston Texans in Week 1, safety Marcus Williams waited before making a final determination on his options. Unofficially, it appeared to be either a season-ending surgery or a rehabilitation work that could possibly keep him available for the 2023 season. According to Head Coach John Harbaugh, Williams decided upon the latter and will rehab in hopes of returning later this season.

“Marcus is not getting the surgery. He is just rehabbing right now to get himself back on the field,” Harbaugh said. “There’s sort of a vague timeframe right now but I just don’t want to put it out there.”

When followed up on if Williams will be moved to injured reserve, Harbaugh announced “he’s not going onto ‘IR.’”

This bodes well for Williams to return, but the timeline is unclear. And just because he’s not on IR doesn’t mean he’s going to return rapidly or that you’ll see No. 32 on the field within the next few weeks. There are multiple reasons as to why Williams will not be playing soon.

First, the Ravens may not need the roster spot of Williams, which is why they’re not pursuing injured reserve. No need to move a guy to make room if there’s no interest in doing so.

Second, teams may only activate/allow a maximum of eight players to return from injured reserve for the season per rule changes in 2022. The Ravens may already return three players in outside linebackers Tyus Bowser and Malik Hamm, along with running back Keaton Mitchell. If Williams makes No. 4, the Ravens are halfway through returns by, say, Week 7.

The timetable to return is unclear, but I don’t expect the Ravens decision to not put Williams on injured reserve is a direct sign of him playing in the next two weeks.