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Ravens place Ar’Darius Washington on injured reserve, sign Sam Mustipher to 53-man roster

The team is losing their starting nickel for the time being and promoting their backup center in the meantime.

NFL: SEP 17 Ravens at Bengals

The Baltimore Ravens made a pair of transactions on Tuesday involving two players that were integral in their Week 2 statement win over the Cincinnati Bengals this past Sunday.

Just when they got positive news on the injury front in the form of veteran free safety Marcus Williams not needing surgery for his injured pectoral, they are losing another key piece of secondary for the time being.

Starting nickel cornerback Ar’Darius Washington is being placed on injured reserve with a chest injury and taking his place on the 53-man roster is veteran center Sam Mustipher who is being signed from the practice squad per the team’s official website.

Washington earned the starting spot in the slot with a strong training camp and preseason and was making the most of his first chance at extensive playing time. Through the first two games of the season, he has already recorded 11 total tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 2 passes defensed, 1 sack, and 2 quarterback hits.

While this designation doesn’t necessarily mean that Washington will be out for the remainder of the season, it does confirm that the third-year pro will miss at least the next four games. He won’t be eligible to return until Week 7 at the earliest when the team returns from their trip across the pond in London and will host the Detroit Lions in a nonconference matchup.

Thankfully, the Ravens have a talented and experienced contingency plan already on the roster ready to step up in Washington’s absence in seventh-year veteran slot corner Arthur Maulet.

The team signed him during training camp to compete for the starting job along with second-year pro Damarion Pepe Williams who is currently on injured reserve. He comes with 68 games and 20 career starts under his belt and most recently spent the last two seasons with the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers as their starting nickel and special teams ace.

Mustipher is a fifth-year veteran who made his 41st career start this past Sunday in place of 2022 first-rounder Tyler Linderbaum and played exceptionally well, finishing with the highest pass-blocking grade among Ravens’ offensive linemen according to Pro Football Focus. Depending on how long the second-year pro remains out with a sprained ankle, Mustipher proved that the interior of the offensive line is in more than capable hands for the time being.

“Sam Mustipher stepped in and he just played tremendously well,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said Sunday postgame.

In over roster-related news, the Ravens brought in veteran running back Kenyan Drake for a visit according to The Athletics' Jeff Zrebiec as they look to potentially add more depth at the position group with both J.K. Dobbins and undrafted rookie Keaton Mitchell on injured reserve. The eighth-year veteran played in 12 games for the Ravens last season including five starts and recorded 482 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns, 17 receptions, 89 receiving yards, and a touchdown.