The Ravens moved Maurice Canady from injured reserve to the active roster on Friday morning, a day after the second-year cornerback had voiced his intention to play in Sunday’s game at the Tennessee Titans.
“I’ll be playing this weekend,” he said without hesitation after Thursday’s practice.
Canady may get his wish. The team released wide receiver Chris Matthews to carve out a spot for the sixth-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft. Matthews has missed the past two contests due to a hamstring ailment.
Canady, who played in only four games last season because of a hamstring injury, has not played this fall due to torn cartilage in his knee sustained on July 28. So Canady is eager to get onto the field.
“I’m never nervous for a game,” the 23-year-old former University of Virginia standout said. “It’s kind of weird, but it’s that fight or flight thing that gets in my stomach, and I choose to fight. So I shouldn’t be nervous.”
Projected as the defense’s top slot cornerback after the unit lost Tavon Young to a torn ACL in his left knee during an organized team activity on June 1, Canady could play safety or even linebacker, according to defensive coordinator Dean Pees.
“I think he is a very versatile guy,” Pees said Thursday. “The guy has played nickel for us, he has played corner for us, he has played safety for us. Once we kind of get him back in the groove, I think we can find some places where we can plug him in and move him around. Maybe even on certain calls, move certain guys to different places and play him in different places. Again, if you look out there and [No.] 26 [Canady’s jersey number] is a safety one time and he is a nickel one time and he is a linebacker one time, it is kind of hard in protections and things like that. “
Canady said he is more than willing to fill whatever role the coaches have designed for him. And he is just as willing to take on a greater workload.
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Asked if he anticipated a limited number of reps to reduce the risk of reaggravating his knee ailment, Canady replied, “We never play conservative here. So I cannot say that I will be conservative. It’s always a mental thing when it comes to football, but I can definitely do more.”