The Baltimore Ravens made several roster transactions ahead of their Week 18 AFC North shown with the Cincinnati Bengals according to a report from ESPN’s Field Yates. The most notable was the waiving of three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson and renowned blocking tight end Nick Boyle.
This marks the end of Jackson’s tenure with the team after just seven games in which he caught 9 of his 17 targets for 153 receiving yards. He was originally signed to the practice squad on October 18, 2022, with the hope that once acclimated and in game shape, he would help offset the loss of second-year wideout Rashod Bateman and bring a vertical threat to their passing attack.
He was excited about the opportunity to play with star quarterback Lamar Jackson but the two only got to play in three games together. The former league MVP suffered a PCL injury that will have caused him to miss the final five games of the season after he was ruled out for Week 18 on Friday.
The best highlight of Jackson’s short stint with the Ravens was his longest reception which came in a losing effort to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12 but was a thing of beauty nonetheless. It was a 62-yard bomb from Jackson to Jackson that flipped the field and sparked an eventual touchdown scoring drive.
Boyle’s release isn’t all that surprising given his diminished role and playing time this year with the emergence of fourth-year pro Josh Oliver and rookie Isaiah Likely. However, it will still be a tough pill to swallow for Ravens fans and was likely a difficult decision to make and a hard conversation to have internally.
The eighth-year veteran was an integral part of the team’s success on offense during their record-setting stretch of dominance in the running game from 2019-2020 until he suffered a gruesome knee injury midway through the 2020 season. Prior to his injury, he had established himself as and was regarded as one of the best blockers at the tight position in the entire league.
Even though he didn’t record his first career touchdown until 2019 in his fifth season, Boyle was always a reliable passing-catching option underneath with underrated athleticism.
If he clears waivers and is not brought back on the practice squad or in the offseason, the former fifth-round pick out of Deleware in 2015 will have finished his career with the Ravens with 121 catches on 165 targets for 1049 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns according to Pro Football Reference.
Boyle appeared in 12 games this season but didn’t record a single catch or target in 61 offensive snaps compared to 108 on special teams.
Ravens Activate 2 Players From Injured Reserve
The pair of players that will be taking Jackson and Boyle’s spots on the 53-man roster is second-year wide receiver Tylan Wallace and veteran cornerback Daryl Worley who were officially activated from injured reserve per Yates’ report.
Both will add depth at their respective positions but will primarily provide the most value on special teams where they played the vast majority of their snaps prior to temporarily getting put on the shelf.
With Jackson gone, perhaps Wallace will have a chance to work into the rotation at receiver since two-time Pro Bowler Devin Duvernay remains on injured reserve with a foot injury. In eight games this year, he has caught 3 of his 6 targets for just 21 yards and has played nearly twice as many special teams snaps (112) as he has on offense (58) per Pro Football Reference.
Worley has appeared in seven games and has played all but 6 of his 90 total snaps on the year on special teams, recording just 3 total tackles.
Ravens Call Up Veteran QB, Rookie DT From Practice Squad
The team elevated a pair of players to provide additional depth on both sides of the ball for their Week 18 divisional matchup. Journeyman quarterback Brett Hundley will be making his regular-season debut with the team and undrafted rookie defensive lineman Rayshad Nichols will be playing in his second straight.
With Jackson out for a fifth straight game and primary backup, Tyler Huntley, coming off a week of practice where he didn’t throw a single pass, the Ravens are making sure they’re covered at the most important position in the sport and Hundley will do that.
Nichols made his regular season debut against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17 and recorded four total tackles including a solo in 15 defensive snaps per Pro Football Reference.