Like any rookie, Maurquice Shakir was understandably thrilled when the Ravens informed him Tuesday that they were promoting him to the active roster from the practice squad. The guard’s excitement was somewhat tempered by the realization that there is a certain standard he must now meet.
“I was pretty much up to speed with what we were doing,” Shakir said Wednesday. “Now it’s not more pressure, but it’s more demanding because now it’s expected of you. You have to know it. So I feel like that’s the only thing that’s different.”
The 6-foot-4, 313-pound Shakir, who joined the team on May 2 as an undrafted free agent out of Middle Tennessee State, did not have much time to enjoy the call-up to replace wide receiver Griff Whalen, who was waived. The 24-year-old was told of the promotion minutes after a meeting, rushed upstairs to sign the necessary paperwork, and then rushed back downstairs to attend another meeting.
“It was too quick,” he said with a laugh. “It was two minutes before another meeting. So I was rushing, and I really couldn’t process it until later in the day when I told my parents.”
Injuries to offensive line have beset a plethora of teams, and the Ravens have not been immune after losing six-time Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda (fractured left ankle), projected starting left guard Alex Lewis (torn labrum in left shoulder) and rookie guard Nico Siragusa (torn ACL, MCL, and PCL in left knee). But Shakir said he was not sure he would find a way to the active roster.
“We’ve had a lot of guys go down, but I never really anticipated it to happen,” he said. “I just trusted the process. Just keep working, just keep doing what I’ve got to do, just keep doing my job, and just get better. Whatever happens, happens.”
Shakir is likely a candidate to be a healthy scratch for Sunday’s game at the Tennessee Titans. But if he is one of the 45 active players for that game, Shakir said he won’t be too nervous.
“I feel like if I can prepare as best as I can and to the best of my ability and my coaches know that I’m preparing as well, there won’t be so much pressure,” he said. “I just have to go out and execute the plays. That’s it.”