The 2021 season hasn’t even started yet, and the Baltimore Ravens are already in the midst of a disastrous injury situation.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport confirmed that cornerback Marcus Peters and running back Gus Edwards suffered torn ACLs and will both miss the season. The two were injured during back-to-back plays at Thursday’s practice, per Rapoport and NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
The Ravens cut practice short after the key players went down and later officially listed Edwards and Peters as limited participants.
Later Thursday, the Ravens signed longtime former Falcons running back Devonta Freeman to the practice squad, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The team had already signed Le’Veon Bell to the practice squad earlier in the week. Bell and Freeman had each worked out for the team previously. The team is also working on finalizing a deal with running back Latavius Murray, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported.
The news comes after starting running back J.K. Dobbins suffered a season-ending knee injury in the team’s final preseason game. Running back Justice Hill tore his Achilles earlier this week.
With Edwards also gone for the season, the Ravens’ backfield is looking like a question mark. 2020 undrafted running back Ty’Son Williams, about whom the club raved following Dobbins’ injury as a backup to Edwards, will now be in line for a massive role in Week 1 against the Raiders.
Baltimore also signed fourth-year back Trenton Cannon — 48 career carries for 146 yards and a TD — to the active roster.
The big name to watch for the Ravens will be Bell. Before Edwards’ injury, coach John Harbaugh said earlier in the day that Bell could be activated from the practice squad Monday night against the Las Vegas Raiders. That possibility grows exponentially given Thursday’s injury.
Bell appeared in 11 games last season for the Jets and Chiefs, taking 82 carries for 328 yards and two scores. The 29-year-old insisted this offseason he still has juice left, despite not showing off in 2020. The door in Baltimore could have just opened wide for Bell to prove the doubters wrong.
Freeman played in five games last season for the Giants, rushing for 172 yards on 54 carries.
Peters’ injury is also be a massive hit to the high-powered Ravens defense, which counted on the ballhawk to help create turnovers. Baltimore is well-stocked at corner, but losing Peters hits its starting depth and pushes 33-year-old Jimmy Smith into more than a spot-duty backup role.