The Ravens suffered another blow to their secondary with the news that rookie cornerback Jaylen Hill will miss the remainder of the season because of a major right knee injury.
Coach John Harbaugh announced Tuesday morning that Hill tore the ACL and MCL in his knee while racing downfield to cover a punt in the third quarter of Saturday’s 23-16 win against the Indianapolis Colts at M&T Bank Stadium. Hill made his way to the team’s injured reserve list, becoming the 15th player in that group.
“He has an ACL and an MCL tear, so he’ll be out,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a tough one. A noncontact injury and just unfortunate for him. He’s a tough young man and was really working hard on special teams, developing as a defensive back. I think he’s a developmental guy for us and has a real bright future, but he’ll have to work to rehab that injury. It was a tough one for him and for us.”
Hill, an undrafted free agent from Jacksonville State, had sat out the first six games of the season because of a strained hamstring. In six games, he had one tackle and one pass breakup on defense and two tackles on special teams.
Hill joins fellow cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (torn left Achilles tendon), Tavon Young (torn left ACL) and Brandon Boykin (undisclosed) on injured reserve.
The team filled Hill’s spot on the active roster by promoting rookie wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo from the practice squad. The undrafted free agent caught only three passes for 31 yards in the preseason, but had impressed with his speed and acrobatic catching ability.
Stanley Jean-Baptiste, who has been a healthy scratch in the past two games, could see his first action, and Robertson Daniel, who was signed to the practice squad on Dec. 5, might be promoted to the active roster in time for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“We’ll have to look at it, we’ll have to figure that out as the week goes on,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll have until Saturday afternoon to kind of decide what we do. We’ll probably bring an extra guy in — at least on the practice squad. Of course, we have Robertson Daniel on the practice squad, so he’d be an option there. We’ll just have to see how it goes. He’s ready to play. I have a lot of faith in Stanley, too. He’s practiced really well, and I expect him to come in and play at a high level.”
Hope for Maclin? As expected, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin did not suit up for Saturday game because of the left knee injury he sustained against the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 17. But Harbaugh sounded as if there is a chance – however slight – that Maclin could return in time for Sunday’s finale against the Bengals.
“It’s just a rehab thing,” Harbaugh said Tuesday. “I don’t think it’s going to be a major update. It’s a healing issue. Jeremy has always been a quick healer. That’s a good thing. So it will be maybe this game. I think he’s got a chance. We’ll just have to see as it gets closer to game time.”
Against Indianapolis, quarterback Joe Flacco completed passes to 10 different receivers, but no player had more than 60 yards or five catches. Maclin, who is tied for second on the team in touchdown catches (three), ranks third in yards (440) and ranks fourth in receptions (40), could help against a Cincinnati defense that ranks seventh against the pass (212.3 yards allowed per game) and in sacks (40).
End zone: Former Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison went unclaimed in the NFL’s waiver process, making him a free agent to sign with any team. The Ravens have been rumored as one of those teams that might add Harrison, who had a brief stint in Baltimore in 2003. But Harbaugh was tight-lipped about that possibility, referring such questions to the front office. “I don’t know,” he said. “You’ll have to ask [general manager] Ozzie [Newsome].” … Harbaugh called Maxx Williams “remarkable” considering that the tight end has played in 10 games this season after sitting out the final 12 games last year to undergo a rare surgery to repair what Harbaugh had once described as cartilage damage. “He came back from a knee injury that as you guys know had never been done before — at least in football,” Harbaugh said of Williams, who made second career touchdown catch against the Colts and first since a 21-yard score on Nov. 15, 2015. “I don’t know if an athlete’s ever done it before. That would be a good question for Maxx or the guys, the doctors. But he’s a good player. I think Maxx doesn’t always get the credit that he deserves. He’s a very physical player. He plays really hard. He’s a factor out there. People know where he’s at, they have to. He’s got good hands. He makes the contested catches. He’s not the prettiest athlete in the world. That’s probably what people see sometimes, and that’s OK. People like pretty. Maxx isn’t that as an athlete, but he’s tough and he’s a good football player and I’m sure glad we have him.” … The Ravens announced they added cornerback Robert Nelson Jr. to the practice squad. Nelson, who had been released by the New York Jets on Dec. 8, fills the vacancy created by Adeboyejo’s promotion.