Coming on the heels of rookie defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan's first NFL sack, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday that the second-round pick could be in line for more playing time.
"It's like any player: the better you play, the more opportunity you earn," Harbaugh said. "He's done a great job, and he's earning more opportunity. He played really well."
Jernigan, selected 48th overall after an All-American and national championship season in 2013 at Florida State, played just 15 snaps Sunday against the Tennessee Titans in what was his fourth game back from a knee injury that kept him out of four games in the early part of the season.
But Sunday's game was his most productive this season, as Jernigan earned his first NFL sack in the second quarter, and had two quarterback hurries, according to Pro Football Focus. He has four quarterback hurries on the season, and his four tackles Sunday were a career high.
"I'm feeling good," Jernigan said after the game. "I had a little bump in the road with my knee injury. Once I got back, it was just a matter of, week-by-week, the more I feel comfortable on my leg, the better I play."
Defensive line coach Clarence Brooks harped on the unit's ability to get to the ball through blocks all week, and Jernigan, who has been used most frequently this year in passing situations, said he anticipated good game situations against the Titans.
"My whole thing was just getting off the ball this week," Jernigan said. "Knowing that there were going to be situations where they were going to have to throw the ball, my biggest thing was I just wanted to get off the ball and be dominant."
Jernigan said he was unsure of what his role could be going forward.
"All I can do is keep playing, doing what I can throughout practice to make sure the playing time is there on Sunday, [then] come out there and create plays and cause havoc," Jernigan said.