Kenny Young’s first start in the NFL could have had a better ending.
Filling in for Patrick Onwuasor at weak-side linebacker, the rookie made three tackles in the first half of the Ravens’ 30-20 preseason win against the Washington Redskins on Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium. But his night ended early because of a knee injury.
The second of the organization’s three fourth-round picks in April’s NFL draft, Young hurt his left knee in the first half. When he returned to the field after halftime, he was in street clothes and wore a brace on the knee.
Young, who had entered the game leading the defense in tackles with 18, described the injury as minor.
“If I could play, I wish I could, but I couldn’t,” he said. “I’m going to get an MRI tomorrow to see how things are going. I’m glad it’s nothing serious. So yeah, just see where things continue at tomorrow.”
Coach John Harbaugh was similarly vague about Young’s status, saying, “We’ll know more about that one tomorrow.”
Asked if he was concerned that the injury could keep him off the field for an extended period of time, Young replied, “I’m not worried. I’ll be fine. I’ll be back.”
The 6-foot-1, 234-pound Young has impressed coaches with his athleticism and grasp of the position to the point in which he is competing with Onwuasor to start alongside middle linebacker C.J. Mosley. Young said the chance to work in training camp has been “special.”
“For a bunch of guys, this is their first journey and the beginning phases of their career in the NFL,” he said. “So to be a part of that and share some of the emotions in pregame about going into this fifth game and trying to get the win and try to get a piece of history with winning five preseason games, it felt good. My thing was, I wanted to take a step tonight, and do the things that I think I need to do to become a better player and just continue to execute.”
Meanwhile, cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste could have a broken arm, Harbaugh said, an injury that could derail the well-traveled veteran’s chances of making the team’s 53-man roster.
Harbaugh said after the Ravens’ win that Jean-Baptiste’s injury “looks pretty serious” and that the team would know more Friday. The deadline for roster cuts is 4 p.m. Saturday.
Jean-Baptiste, 28, who had an interception in each of the team’s two previous games, left in the first quarter after whiffing on a tackle. He was slow to leave the field with what was later announced as a forearm injury.
In the locker room afterward, wearing a soft cast on his right arm, Jean-Baptiste said he didn’t have feeling in his fingers immediately after the injury. He underwent X-rays and did not return.
“It’s hard,” said Jean-Baptiste, a former second-round pick who stood to benefit from No. 1 cornerback Jimmy Smith’s four-game suspension. “Season right around the corner. All I had to do was get through this last preseason game. But at the same time, everything happens for a reason.”