Hayden Hurst left a lot to be desired in the Ravens’ 12-9 overtime loss Sunday at the Cleveland Browns, but maybe that was expected from a rookie tight end playing for the first time in more than a month after being sidelined by a stress fracture in his foot.
Hurst, the organization’s first of two first-round picks in April’s NFL draft and the first tight end selected overall, was targeted twice, caught one pass for 7 yards and was otherwise quiet in his NFL debut. He played 21 snaps, which trailed Nick Boyle’s 39, fellow rookie Mark Andrews’ 33 and Maxx Williams’ 27.
Pro Football Focus, the scouting website, gave Hurst a grade of 47.0, which was the lowest among the Ravens’ offensive players. Coach John Harbaugh had a more positive view of Hurst’s performance.
“He got out of it good physically,” Harbaugh said Monday afternoon. “He’s in good shape, and I think he did OK — probably what you would expect. He’s going to be better as he gets more reps, but he’s going to be fine.”
Meanwhile, cornerback Jimmy Smith played 35 snaps and did not surrender a catch on the only target thrown in his direction, according to Pro Football Focus. Smith made his season debut after returning from a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy.
“He played a lot,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t know the numbers exactly. It wasn’t any big disparity that made me take note. But he played well, and he looks good.”
Defensive tackle Willie Henry also made his season debut, making two tackles and one sack on 39 snaps. Henry had been recovering from hernia surgery Aug. 24.
“I thought he played very well,” Harbaugh said. “I was pleasantly surprised by how well he played. He had a good game. We didn’t expect him to play that many snaps. It kind of just turned out that way. So it looks like he’s back, and he didn’t miss a stride.”