Ravens’ Veteran Receiver Misses Practice After Injury Vs. Colts

Ravens Sammy Watkins

Getty Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Sammy Watkins runs with the ball during Monday's game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Sammy Watkins missed practice today after suffering a hamstring injury during Monday night’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, according to the Ravens’ official injury report.

The veteran wideout had been a steady target for quarterback Lamar Jackson this season, racking up 257 yards on 16 receptions in the Ravens’ first four games. Watkins already had two catches for 35 yards on Monday night before he exited the game in the second quarter.

Injuries have historically been an issue for the former Clemson Tiger, who has only played 16 games in a season once in his career, during his rookie year.

Head coach John Harbaugh declined to offer a timetable for the veteran receiver’s return after today’s walkthrough practice, telling media, “We’ll just see how long it takes.”

While the Ravens’ passing game seemed to operate just fine without Watkins on Monday night with second-year receivers Devin Duvernay and James Proche filling in, Jackson will still want his most experienced pass-catcher back on the field as soon as possible.

Watkins Predicted Comeback Win

The Ravens announced that Watkins was questionable to return after his injury, but his absence from the field didn’t keep him from cheering on his team.

In fact, Watkins tweeted a prediction that the Ravens would come back and win the game while receiving treatment for his injury in the locker room.

ESPN’s Jamison Hensley noted that Watkins’ tweet came with about three minutes remaining in the third quarter while the Ravens were still down by 19 points.

Watkins’ faith was rewarded, as Lamar Jackson led the Ravens’ offense to the end zone on four straight possessions to secure a 31-25 victory in overtime.

Ravens Move Rookie Guard to IR

Ravens placed rookie left guard Ben Cleveland on the short-term injured reserve list after he was carted off the field on Monday night, the team announced yesterday on Twitter.

He thanked fans for their well wishes after “positive news from the doctors” on Tuesday afternoon.

Cleveland was ruled out shortly after suffering a knee injury in the second quarter of the Ravens’ primetime victory over the Colts. Despite being in obvious pain from the injury, the former Georgia Bulldog still waved to fans at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore as he left the field on an injury cart.

The injury brings a second halt to Cleveland’s rookie season after he sustained a concussion during training camp in August, which held him out for all three of the Ravens’ preseason games.

He was even a healthy scratch for Baltimore’s regular season opener against the Las Vegas Raiders, but a Week 1 injury to starting left guard Tyre Phillips brought Cleveland into the fold in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Cleveland played between 40% and 50% of the Ravens’ offensive snaps at left guard for the next three weeks, splitting the position with Ben Powers.

The hulking lineman was only able to play four snaps before he went down against the Colts. He’s eligible to come off the injured reserve list in three weeks, but the Ravens’ Week 8 bye will push his return to the team’s November 7 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.

Jaylon Ferguson Activated from COVID-19 List

The Ravens activated Jaylon Ferguson from the COVID-19 list today, per the NFL’s official transaction report. He missed the team’s last three games due to a positive test on September 24 that briefly sidelined Justin Houston, Brandon Williams and Justin Madubuike as close contacts.

Only Ferguson missed more than one game though, as his teammates returned to action against the Denver Broncos on October 3.

Though Ferguson, the NCAA FBS career sack leader, has not lived up to his billing as a pass rusher in the pros, he’s proven to be a capable run defender on the edge in Baltimore. Though he only played 11 defensive snaps in his two games this season, injuries and the Ravens’ weak run-defense in recent weeks may give the former Louisiana Tech Gator more playing time this Sunday against the Lost Angeles Chargers.