Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey is trending in the right direction in his recovery from a season-ending pectoral injury suffered against the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 5.
“It’s going well,” said Humphrey during a February 10 appearance on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, “I’ve been rehabbing it for the past three weeks in [Los Angeles].”
Humphrey tore his right pectoral muscle attempting to stop the Steelers’ go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter and missed the rest of the Ravens’ season. It was one of many brutal injuries suffered by key Ravens during the 2021 season; Marcus Peters tore his ACL in the preseason and Lamar Jackson missed the team’s last four games.
But armed with 10 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft and expecting the return of four All-Pros – Humphrey, Peters, Jackson and left tackle Ronnie Stanley – the Ravens are planning to return to their division-winning form next season. Humphrey will be an important part of those efforts; despite a few rough games, he remains one of the best coverage corners in the NFL and an extremely underrated run defender.
“It feels good to get back healthy again. I just get excited raising my hard,” continued Humphrey, “I’m really excited to get fully healthy and get ready for next year.”
Humphrey Looking Ahead to 2022 Bengals Matchups
Humphrey appeared to be especially excited for the Ravens’ two divisional matchups with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2022 after their playoff run through the AFC and to the Super Bowl in Los Angeles.
“I’ve been enjoying, in a weird way, seeing the Bengals get all this love,” said Humphrey, who has been participating in media activities in the build-up to the Super Bowl, “I can’t wait to play them twice in the division.”
Humphrey acknowledged that the Ravens’ historical rival has been the Steelers, but the Bengals have burst onto the scene this season, heating up the already-competitive AFC North.
The 25-year-old corner also offered his perspective on the Bengals’ approach in the Super Bowl, saying, “If anyone knows the Bengals well, it’s the Ravens.”
“They just have so many weapons on offense,” Humphrey continued, noting the talent surrounding Bengals star quarterback Joe Burrow, including receivers Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.
Humphrey is especially familiar with the Burrow-Chase connection after a tough October outing against the Bengals in Baltimore.
“Everyone was seeing it all year, but people didn’t really believe it until they beat the Chiefs,” Humphrey concluded, warning viewers not to count out the Bengals despite their lack of postseason experience.
Ravens Could Grab CB With 14th Pick
Though Humphrey, Peters, Tavon Young and Chris Westry are all set to return next season, the team seems prepared to move on from veteran Jimmy Smith, while 2021 14-game starter Anthony Averett could find a better payday elsewhere.
As a result, Humphrey could soon be joined by a new, young cornerback in Baltimore as the Ravens attempt to keep pace with the Bengals’ dangerous receiving threats.
Seth Galina of Pro Football Focus projected that the Ravens would even use their first-round pick on Trent McDuffie, a cornerback prospect out of the University of Washington.
The Ravens certainly do not want to go through another season of bad cornerback play, so they take the Washington Husky here. The team’s cumulative PFF grade at cornerback fell to 56.4 this season — its worst mark since 2015. McDuffie isn’t the biggest — 5-foot-11, 195 pounds — but is a technician who would immediately bolster Baltimore’s secondary.
A three-year starter for the Huskies, McDuffie appears to be a do-it-all prospect at corner, able to play outside or in the slot in zone or man coverage schemes.
The Ravens’ last two first-round corners – Humphrey and Jimmy Smith – brought a distinct physicality to their play in the NFL, and McDuffie’s college tape shows an excellent tackler who can help clean up some of Baltimore’s tackling woes from the 2021 season.