Lardarius Webb can’t believe he is tied with cornerback Brandon Carr for the Ravens lead in interceptions with two. The slot cornerback was not even sure how much playing time he would get this season.
“I did not even plan on being on the field. Seriously,” Webb said before Wednesday afternoon’s practice. “But I am and I’m blessed to be on the field. Some unfortunate things have happened for me to be on the field.”
Webb isn’t just being modest. Tavon Young, a fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft who made 11 starts last fall, was tabbed as the top option, but tore the ACL in his left knee during an organized team activity June 1. Maurice Canady, a sixth-round pick in the same draft, replaced Young in the slot, but suffered torn cartilage in his knee July 29. Both players are on injured reserve.
Enter Webb, who has an interception in each of his first two games. He pointed out that those results might not have occurred if Young and Canady had been healthy.
“Those were the guys that were probably going to have that job, and I was going to be teaching them,” said Webb, who was released by the Ravens on March 10 before being re-signed April 10. “I was the player-coach. So I’m blessed to be where I am today, and I’m just enjoying it. I’m just enjoying every day I can.”
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees said Webb is perfectly suited to play slot cornerback.
“He transitioned to safety [in 2016] very well, but we’ve always thought that he was an outstanding nickel back,” Pees said Thursday. “And he’s a good blitzer. He does a good job of disguising along with [strong safety] Eric [Weddle] and [free safety] Tony [Jefferson] and those guys. I think they’ve bonded very well together, the three of them, which has helped Webby in some ways. My hat’s off to him. I think he’s playing at a very high level now.”
Webb’s two interceptions are already his highest total in a single season since 2013, when he finished with two. Teammates have remarked that Webb, 31, is playing younger, but he shrugged off the credit.
“It’s the guys around me,” he said. “I’m going to stick to that. With those guys playing the way they’re playing, the way they attack the quarterback, the way they rush the quarterback, the way Dean Pees is calling the plays for us and putting us in the right position, I’m able to make plays.”
End zone: A day after wide receiver Mike Wallace playfully lobbied for more touches, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg agreed that it is one of his jobs to make that happen. “We try to use all eligible runners and receivers, but man alive, let’s get the ball to our best players quite a little bit,” he said. “So that bothers me and I’m going to do my best to get that doggone thing corrected.” … The Ravens announced Thursday that they have placed running back Jeremy Langford on injured reserve. Langford, who had been re-signed Tuesday to the practice squad after getting cut from the active roster Saturday, walked gingerly out of Wednesday’s practice early with a trainer. Langford’s spot was filled by running back John Crockett, who played two games for the Green Bay Packers in 2015. … Jacksonville Jaguars starting cornerback Jalen Ramsey (ankle) was downgraded to no participation Thursday after being limited on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s matchup against the Ravens at Wembley Stadium in London. Starting left tackle Cam Robinson (shoulder) was limited after practicing fully on Wednesday. But the team got some good news with a pair of starters in center Brandon Linder (knee) and free safety Tashaun Gipson (ankle) practicing on a limited basis Thursday after being held out of Wednesday’s session. Starting defensive tackle Malik Jackson (groin) was limited for the second consecutive day. And two more starters in quarterback Blake Bortles (right wrist) and wide receiver Allen Hurns (shoulder) practiced fully for the second day in a row.