Ravens Provide Notable Update on Star Safety Marcus Williams

Marcus Williams

Getty Baltimore Ravens safety Marcus Williams.

Baltimore Ravens fans received some good news heading into Week 9 with the return of safety Marcus Williams. Wednesday, November 1 saw the return of the former second-round pick in a limited capacity.

Williams was able to follow up the practice with another limited appearance on Thursday, November 2 working on individual drills and tackling.

Williams injured his hamstring in London during the team’s Week 6 matchup with the Tennessee Titans. He has been forced to miss the past two games due to the injury.

This has been an injury-plagued 2023 season for Williams so far. He suffered a pectoral injury in the Ravens’ Week 1 matchup with the Houston Texans. The injury knocked him out for the following three games.

It is unclear when the Ravens plan to return Williams to game action, as they would be better served letting him get as close to 100%, rather than rushing him back and risking a reaggravation to the hamstring.

The Ravens have a critical Week 9 matchup at home against the NFC West-leading Seattle Seahawks that they would love to have Williams back for. That being said, it is more important that Williams is healthy down the stretch if the Ravens plan to challenge for not only the AFC title but ultimately the Super Bowl.

Williams Not Used to the Injury Bug

The Ravens signed Williams, prior to the 2022 season, away from the New Orleans Saints for five years and $70 million. Williams played for five years with the Saints providing 15 interceptions and 320 combined tackles during his tenure.

From 2017 until 2021, Willams only missed a total of six games with the Saints. However, since joining the Ravens in 2022 he has missed a total of 10 games over a season and a half.

While speaking to the media about his injuries, Williams told reporters he’s “not frustrated” and “it is what it is – I’m going to keep pushing through.”

Despite Williams’ extended absence, the Ravens find themselves at 6-2 atop the AFC North with a dominant defense allowing the second-fewest yards per game (276.5) through eight weeks.

Safety Group Bolstering Ravens’ Vaunted Defense

Two of the main reasons for this are Kyle Hamilton and Geno Stone.

Hamilton had a solid rookie season but has elevated his game to the next level so far. The 2022 first-round pick has been contributing across the board providing 3.0 sacks, 42 combined tackles and 1 interception through the first eight games.

Pro Football Focus has graded Hamilton at a 71.6 so far this season, which is good enough for 25th out of 87 safeties.

The bigger surprise this season has been Stone, a 2020 seventh-round pick. He is already having his best season of his four-year career. Stone played in all of the Raven’s games but has been elevated to the starting role for five of them.

He in turn has already set career high in interceptions (5) and pass deflections (5). Pro Football Focus has graded Stone at an astounding 85.9, which is good enough for fifth out 87 safeties.

His ball hawk skills on the back end have helped to create a dominating defense. The Ravens have allowed the fewest points and the second-fewest yards in the NFL.

The emergence of Stone and Hamilton will allow the Ravens to slow-play the return of Williams. There is no need to rush at this point until he is fully healthy. Fans could see a rotation among the three safeties, or some versatile packages drawn up.

“It’s a great problem to have [depth], to find where to put great players,” defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald told the media on Thursday.

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