Although the Ravens placed Maurice Canady and Kenneth Dixon on injured reserve, they are hoping that both players could rejoin the team later this season.
Canady, a cornerback who was sent to IR on Monday to make room for inside linebacker Albert McClellan, and Dixon, a running back who made his way there Wednesday, must spend eight weeks on IR before rejoining the team.
The Ravens will be allowed to bring back only two players. But coach John Harbaugh sounded hopeful that Canady, who missed Thursday night’s 34-23 loss at the Cincinnati Bengals because of a thigh injury suffered Aug. 17 in a joint practice with the Indianapolis Colts, could return to fortify the outside cornerback position.
“He does not have a season-ending injury, as we said before,” Harbaugh said. “He could come back in due time.”
Dixon injured his knee on a 1-yard run with 1:36 left in a 47-3 rout of the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 9 and limped off the field and into the locker room. Before the injury, he led the offense in carries (13) and rushing yards (44) on 22 snaps and scored a touchdown.
But Harbaugh put Dixon in the “same category” as Canady.
“He’s another guy that could come back,” Harbaugh said. “If both those guys came back, that would be our two guys for the year. I think it’s a wise choice by [general manager] Ozzie [Newsome] and [assistant general manager] Eric [DeCosta] to make the move the way they did. We’ll just see how it plays out.”
Harbaugh did not elaborate on the status of left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who left in the fourth quarter of the game at Cincinnati but said afterward that he was “fine.” Stanley deferred further questioning to Harbaugh, who did not disagree with his player.
“He said he was fine? We’ll just go with that then,” Harbaugh said. “He said he’s fine, he’s fine. We’ll see. I don’t know. We’ll see. I think he’s OK.”
Plan for Jackson
After taking four meaningful snaps in the season opener against Buffalo, rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson was in on six plays against the Bengals. The organization’s second of two first-round picks in April’s NFL draft did not throw a pass, but did carry the ball twice for six yards.
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Jackson is still the backup to starter Joe Flacco, and Harbaugh did not shed much light on whether Jackson’s workload will increase as the season continues.
“I think it’s going to be week-to-week, game plan-to-game plan, game-to-game during the game,” Harbaugh said. “There are more plays than five in the game plan for him. So we’ll just try to do what we can do with all of the weapons that we have to try to put up as many points as we can. That’s really what we’re trying to do with all of our guys, and we put him in the same category that way.”
Concern for Grant
Janarion Grant ranks in the top 20 in the NFL in punt return average (7.4 yards), but the undrafted rookie is tied for the league lead in fumbles on punt returns with two.
The good news is that the Ravens have not lost either loose ball. Grant recovered his own fumble in the victory against the Bills, and cornerback Tavon Young fell on the ball in the loss to the Bengals. But that does not mean that Grant is no longer under the microscope, according to Harbaugh.
“Yeah, concern,” Harbaugh said, summing up his emotions. “It’s twice in two games. You just don’t want to see that — whether he fumbles or [is] not catching the ball the first time. You want to see the ball secured. He did secure it well a number of times, high hangers, people buzzing around him, two weeks ago in the rain. But any time a ball is on the ground, it’s not a good situation. He knows that, he’s working hard at that. We’ll kind of monitor that as we go here.”
Wide receiver Willie Snead IV is listed as Grant’s backup on punt returns. Rookie Jordan Lasley is second on the team’s depth chart for kick returns, but the fifth-round pick has been a healthy scratch in the first two games. Wide receiver Chris Moore averaged 26.6 yards on 13 kick returns last season.
Harbaugh said he does not anticipate defensive tackle Willie Henry (hernia surgery) or rookie tight end Hayden Hurst (stress fracture in foot) returning to the field this week for Sunday’s home game against the Denver Broncos. “No, they won’t practice this week,” he said. … The team signed safety Kai Nacua to the practice squad. Nacua had ranked third on the defense in the preseason in tackles with 16 and had intercepted one pass. “Kai had a heck of training camp, dealt with some injuries but fought through it and played very well whenever he was out there,” Harbaugh said. “So it's good to have him back in the mix.” … Former Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman is reportedly signing with the Washington Redskins after working out for them on Monday. Since being waived by the organization Sept. 1, the 2015 first-round draft pick had worked out for the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles.