Cornerback Marlon Humphrey could be dealing with a groin injury that limited him to just about half of the Ravens defense’s snaps Sunday “for a while,” coach John Harbaugh said at his weekly news conference Monday.
Humphrey played 44 defensive snaps in the Ravens' overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, four fewer than in their Week 13 win over the Atlanta Falcons but just 51.2 percent of the total share. The second-year player entered Week 14 having allowed the lowest catch rate in the NFL since Week 7, according to Pro Football Focus.
“It’s annoying,” Harbaugh said of Humphrey’s injury, which limited his action in the second half. “It takes awhile for it to go away completely. Sometimes you can retweak it a little bit, too. It’s probably something that’s he’s going to be feeling for a while. That’s just the way groins are.”
But Harbaugh had praise for rookie cornerback Anthony Averett, whose role grew in relief of his former Alabama teammate. Averett’s 39 defensive snaps Sunday were more than his combined total over his seven previous appearances this season.
“Anthony played really well,” Harbaugh said. “He played really well. Not surprising, he’s been playing well. He’s answered every bell so far. Every round he’s been called out there, he’s done a good job. He only gets better. It just makes our corner situation even better than [it] was before. I was really pleased with how he played. It helped Marlon, too, as far as the long-term health.”
The Ravens will need all hands on deck Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wide receivers Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin rank among the 22 highest-rated receivers in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.
Dixon’s role growing?
For the second straight week, running back Kenneth Dixon led the Ravens in yards per carry Sunday. Which could lead to something else.
After rushing eight times for 37 yards against the Falcons in his long-awaited return to action, Dixon had eight carries for 59 yards Sunday and added a 21-yard catch. While undrafted rookie Gus Edwards has established himself for now as the team’s workhorse running back, Harbaugh said Dixon should take on a bigger role in the offense.
“Kenneth, I thought, played really well, ran hard, broke tackles, made people miss, did a good job in pass protection,” he said. “He’s kind of getting more comfortable with the offense again, assignment-wise. I definitely expect to see Kenneth’s role grow, based on the fact he’s been doing well with what he’s been given so far. You continue to earn more as you go.”
With Ty Montgomery's involvement in the passing game, fellow running back Buck Allen struggled to find a role. He didn’t get an offensive snap for the second straight game.