Advertisement

Ravens TE Benjamin Watson acknowledges he thought Achilles injury might end his career

Benjamin Watson, the oldest player on the Ravens roster, ranks second on the offense in catches (38) and third in receiving yards (261). But the 36-year-old tight end acknowledges that he was unsure whether he would even be able to play again.

Watson’s first year with the team ended prematurely when he ruptured his right Achilles tendon in a preseason game against the Detroit Lions on Aug. 27, 2016. And during the rehabilitation process, Watson allowed his mind to entertain the thought of not returning.

Advertisement

“There were times in that training room over there when I felt like I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to play in the NFL again at a level that I’m satisfied with or at all,” he said before Wednesday afternoon’s practice. “God blessed me to be able to come back. So my goal this year has been to do the best that I can with what I’ve been given, and I hope to contribute as much as I can and really have a sense of gratitude just to be able to be out here.”

Coach John Harbaugh described the recovery from an Achilles injury as “really tough” but said he is not surprised Watson continues to play.

“He is so motivated, he loves to play,” Harbaugh said. “It has not been just that. He has been playing through different bumps and bruises all year. He is just a very tough person, a very determined individual, and we are very fortunate to have him.”

Watson, who said his five children have been praying over his Achilles tendon for the past 15 months, has been targeted for passes by quarterback Joe Flacco 49 times, which trails only running back Buck Allen’s 50 targets. Flacco expressed his respect for Watson.

“He’s been through a lot this year, too,” Flacco said. “He suits up every week. Just the toughness that he’s had this year is unbelievable. He’s always in the right spot. I can anticipate my throws with him and make them that much more accurate because of that. He’s been huge.”

Advertisement
Advertisement