Ravens first-round pick Hayden Hurst could be sidelined three to four weeks after undergoing a procedure to fix a stress fracture in his foot, the NFL Network reported Friday.
The injury could keep the rookie tight end out until at least Week 3 when the Ravens host the Denver Broncos. It’s a blow to the team’s revamped passing game and ends a period of unusual good health for the roster.
With Hurst sidelined, veteran Maxx Williams is likely the team’s second best option at tight end behind projected starter Nick Boyle. The injury could also create an opportunity for Darren Waller, an impressive athlete who was suspended all of last year for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Hurst, the 25th overall pick in this year’s draft, made a strong impression throughout training camp with his mobility, sure hands and gift for making catches in traffic. He’s expected to be the team’s top pass-catching tight end when healthy.
As recently as a week ago, the Ravens seemed on track to have all their projected starters healthy for the Sept. 9 season opener against the Buffalo Bills. But their luck has turned, with Hurst’s injury piled on top of cornerback Jimmy Smith’s four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.