With David Reed serving a one-game suspension for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy, it’s unclear who will serve as the Ravens’ primary kick returner in Sunday’s season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
No one within the organization said much on Thursday to clear up the mystery.
“We have discussed it at great length,” special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said prior to practice. “We haven’t necessarily settled on it, but it’s in the process.”
Rosburg then draw laughter when he asked, “Did I avoid that answer?”
Cornerback Lardarius Webb is listed on the team’s depth chart as Reed’s backup, but Webb is also the primary punt returner and a candidate to start or line up as the fifth defensive back in the defense’s nickel package.
Webb dismissed the notion that taking on those assignments would exhaust him.
“I know I’m the punt returner,” he said. “I don’t know what we’re going to do at kick returns or anything. I don’t even know what we’re going to do at the corner position. I’m just going to be ready for whatever Harbs [coach John Harbaugh] wants me to do. If he wants me to sit on the sideline, I’ll be there. But wherever he wants me, I want to be a part of this defense. I want to be a part of this game. So we’re ready.”
Rookie wide receiver LaQuan Williams is also listed as an option on kick returns, but he could not offer much certainty to the situation.
“I have no clue at this point,” he said. “I’ll just have to go out there and see what happens on Sunday.”
Rosburg asserted that the team has several options to choose from with regards to both return duties.
“We have a lot of guys that are carrying duties on both offense and defense, and Lardarius will be one of those guys,” he said. “And we have other players who could play both returner positions and we have other players that play corner and nickel. So it’s going to be a team effort in all aspects of the game, and special teams is no different than that. We expect to play a lot of people in a lot of different positions.”