The Baltimore Ravens have dealt with a rash of injuries over the past few seasons, whether it’s superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson struggling to finish the year or key contributors like cornerback Marlon Humphrey and running back J.K. Dobbins blowing their knees out.
They’ve managed to claw their way to respectability each season regardless, but the “next man up” mentality has become a painfully necessary one for players on the Ravens to have.
Getting Up To Speed
One of the players who got bit by the injury bug in 2022 was cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis, a fourth-round pick out of the University of Alabama.
He played in the first three games of the season before seeing time as a healthy scratch, eventually going down for the season with a hip injury.
He’s ready to make waves in year two with another level of experience under his belt. Rather than having to focus on learning the playbook or agonizing over each mistake he makes, worried that it could land him on the bench, Armour-Davis said he’s focused on taking everything in stride and moving forward with a positive and constructive attitude, per an interview with Sports Illustrated.
“Growth,” Armour-Davis said on what he wants to show. “Growth as a player [and] being healthy. My biggest thing is trying to build on consistency. Having ups and downs, it’s nice when you make a good play every now and then, but you can’t give up plays. My main thing is consistently rising and no ups and downs in the heartbeat, just trying to go up.”
Armour-Davis has had a strong showing in the preseason, getting plenty of reps with the first-team starters, and he’ll have a chance to show how another year in the books can translate to live action with the Ravens’ preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles right around the corner on August 12. Just like Armour-Davis is interested in showing he belongs in a starting role, Ravens fans might be interested in a BetMGM Maryland Bonus Code as we look ahead to the first full weekend of NFL football since February.
A Long Way To Go Still
The fact that there’s a long way to go still has a double meaning. The Ravens released their first preseason depth chart earlier this week as they gear up for their first live action of the new season. Armour-Davis saw his name listed in the second-string column, with Humphrey and fellow veteran Rock Ya-Sin listed as the two starters on the outside and Damarion “Pepe” Williams set to man the slot. At 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds with a 4.39 40-yard dash, Armour-Davis projects as an outside cornerback. With a pair of entrenched starters ahead of him, he has a long way to go to earn the starting role. With nearly a month of the preseason left, though, he also has plenty of time to show why he deserves a larger share of the snaps.
In today’s pass-heavy offensive formations, teams can never have enough defensive backs on the field at a given time: dime defenses are the rule, not the exception these days, and Armour-Davis being listed as a member of the second string is really more a formality. Once the game starts and wide receivers are fanned out to the perimeter, the Ravens will need his help early and often. It’s up to him to use the next month of practice to prepare for his name to be called.
What’s the Fit?
The Ravens allowed 3,947 yards through the air last season, the seventh-worst margin in the league, along with allowing opposing teams to complete 66.4 percent of their pass attempts, also the seventh-worst rate. They brought in Ya-Sin to help improve those numbers and, while he’s been an excellent corner throughout his career, he’s managed just two interceptions in four years (although he’s excellent at breaking up passes… just not bringing them down himself).
As their names suggest, Armour-Davis has much softer hands than ‘Rock’ Ya-Sin does, tallying three picks in his last year for the Crimson Tide alone.
If he’s able to make a name for himself with some takeaways in training camp and the preseason, he could earn a big role on Sundays this season.