Baltimore Ravens star middle linebacker Patrick Queen may have led his team in tackles during November 28’s primetime matchup with the Cleveland Browns, but according to head coach John Harbaugh, he had to play through “major pain” to get the job done.
Harbaugh discussed Queen’s performance at a press conference after the Ravens’ Week 12 victory, telling reporters, “Have you had a broken rib before? I have, it sticks with you. Those things hurt a lot.”
Queen left the game holding his ribs and was listed as questionable to return, but ended up finishing the game, recording a team-high eight tackles to boot.
“It’s just the kind of person he is. He really wants to be a great linebacker,” said Harbaugh, who suggested that the presence of Ravens legend Ray Lewis at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium gave Queen some extra motivation.
Lewis racked up 10 All-Pro selections and 13 Pro Bowl appearances in his 17 years in the NFL, all spent in Baltimore after he was selected by the Ravens with their second draft pick in franchise history in 1996.
“That’s kind of the bar here, sort of, in a way, and I know he takes that very seriously,” Harbaugh continued.
Queen Improving Each Game
While Queen is certainly no Ray Lewis, he is starting to live up to his potential as the Ravens’ first round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft after a tough start to this season.
He missed 10 tackles in Baltimore’s first five games, per Pro Football Focus, and struggled to diagnose run plays and drop back in coverage. But in six games since, Queen has only missed two tackles, putting up several solid performances alongside veteran linebacker Josh Bynes.
Queen recorded eight tackles against Cleveland, including two for loss, setting the tone early by stuffing running back Nick Chubb on the Browns’ second play from scrimmage.
“I wanted it. I wanted it bad,” said Queen after the game, “It’s been weeks of stacking and stacking, just trying to be a better player – trying to be a better player for my teammates, so they can rely on me and count on me.”
With his play in the last few weeks, Queen is definitely giving teammates a reason to count on him. He’s been especially impressive when moving to stop opposing run plays before the ball is even snapped.
The game has clearly slowed down for the second-year linebacker, whose mental processing speed is starting to catch up to his physical foot speed. The LSU product played a huge role in the Ravens limiting one of the top rushing offenses in the NFL to just 40 yards on the ground.
“I know the defense down pat,” said Queen, “We get scouting reports, we know what the offense likes to do, so we’re just playing football at this point.”
“See ball, get ball,” he concluded.
Queen ‘Still Healthy’ After Scare
Queen quickly returned to the field after hurting his ribs on Sunday, but Harbaugh confirmed during a press conference today that the injury is “not something that should linger.”
Queen joked about the play that forced him off the field after the game, telling reporters, “I just tried to hit somebody that was a little bit bigger than me. I took the effects of it, but that’s football – it comes with it. So, I’m just happy that I’m still healthy. Thank God for that.”
But no matter how much pain he was in, Queen explained that he “was going to return regardless.”
“I was hurting, but my teammates, I felt like they needed me, and I wanted to be out there for them. If it would have taken my all, then that’s what it was going to take,” he said.
In a welcome change for the Ravens this season, they finished the game without any major injuries.
“As far as I know, there’s nothing serious at this point,” said Harbaugh on November 29, who added, “But the way this season has gone, and things have popped up late, [I’m] not saying anything definitive yet that way. But we look OK.”
The Ravens play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 13, when they will hopefully have veterans Calais Campbell (concussion) and Jimmy Smith (neck) back on defense.