In his first game since the Ravens’ season opener against the Buffalo Bills, cornerback Maurice Canady played 21 snaps in Sunday’s 34-17 thumping of the Oakland Raiders, but none on defense.
The 2016 sixth-round draft pick spent his entire time on special teams. He did not make a tackle, but that was not the least bit discouraging to Canady, who had sat out nine consecutive games because of a hamstring injury.
“It felt good to get back out there and fly around and be with my teammates,” he said this week. “What I missed most was just playing in a football game. I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
Canady’s absence from the defense is noteworthy considering that slot cornerback Tavon Young had been deactivated because of a groin injury. But the unit slid Brandon Carr inside from his traditional outside spot and also employed Cyrus Jones and rookie Anthony Averett.
Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale said the decision to have Canady primarily on special teams was intentional.
“Right now, we’ve got a lot of depth back there in the secondary,” he said. “So you’re not just going to run up to the roster and get thrown right in there because there are a lot of guys that are playing really well. I think that was his main role on Sunday, to play special teams. But he’ll be ready to go just like I said the others would be.”
For his part, Canady refused to rock the boat about his lack of snaps on defense.
“I’m not a selfish guy,” he said. “I’m not thinking like that. I’m thinking we’re just trying to get a Super Bowl. That’s all we’re thinking about. I’m not thinking about any self accolades or anything like that.”