Ravens rookie first-round pick Marlon Humphrey had his welcome-to-the-NFL moment when he jogged onto the field and lined up at cornerback for the first time in a regular-season game Sunday and found himself defending one of the top playmakers in the NFL.
“I ran out there and I was like, ‘Hey, first one, A.J. Green.’ It was definitely kind of a surreal experience, getting to go up against one of the NFL’s best receivers,” Humphrey said Friday. “They didn’t throw it to him, but that definitely woke me up a little bit. That was cool for that to be my first NFL snap.”
Humphrey’s primary role against the Bengals was on special teams, but the Ravens did mix him in at cornerback for two different series in place of Jimmy Smith and then Brandon Carr. Humphrey was not targeted in nine snaps and Ravens coach John Harbaugh said a day later that the former Alabama standout earned more action going forward.
“I was happy I was able to get out there and get a few plays in. I was pleased with how I did on special teams and how I did with everything else in my first NFL game,” said Humphrey, who was limited in the preseason by a hamstring injury. “The only thing I was a little bit nervous about was the first time doing punt return. That was kind of the first time I’ve ever played that position. I wouldn’t say I was nervous; I just didn’t know how it was going to be. I did well at it. I feel it will be more of a big experience playing at home in front of the fans. Cincinnati had a few empty seats. I’m hoping Baltimore comes and packs it out. I’m excited for that.”
Waiting for somebody to step forward: In the 14 games that Ravens middle linebacker C.J. Mosley started a year ago, Zachary Orr was by his side as the weak-side linebacker in 13 of those games. Kamalei Correa was in that position against the Bengals, but Harbaugh indicated a day later that Correa, Patrick Onwuasor and even undrafted rookie Bam Bradley could be rotated in at weak-side linebacker.
Mosley, the two-time Pro Bowl selection, said Wednesday that the rotation really doesn’t affect him too much.
“It’s not really a challenge for me,” Mosley said. “We’ve been doing this kind of rotation this whole offseason, and to those guys’ credit, they put themselves in a position where the table is still open. Everybody’s doing a great job of performing and making plays. As far as right now, we’ve still got a rotation going, but at some point one of those guys has to step up and take that spot.”
End zone: Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees will enter the University of Findlay Athletic Hall of Fame in January as the 2018 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Ohio-based school announced Friday. Pees’ first collegiate coaching job was as the defensive coordinator/secondary coach at Finlay from 1979 to 1983. … Harbaugh said earlier in the week that defensive lineman-turned fullback Patrick Ricard played well in the season opener “but again, it could be better.” Ricard played 12 snaps on offense and one at defensive lineman against the Bengals. … The Browns ruled out top overall draft pick Myles Garrett (ankle) and defensive lineman T.Y. McGill (back), but they have no other injury questions for Sunday.
Baltimore Sun staff writer Edward Lee contributed to this article.