After bouncing around with four organizations before landing with the Ravens, cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste might play in his first game since 2014, when he was a rookie with the New Orleans Saints. It’s the chance he has been eagerly awaiting.
“I’ve just been waiting just to get on the field,” he said Wednesday. “First off, [the Ravens] gave me an opportunity by putting me on the practice squad, and I’ve just been working my way up. The chance to be in a game, it’s just a blessing. I just want to keep working hard, and everything will fall into place.”
Jean-Baptiste, 27, is closer to playing because of the season-ending right knee injury rookie cornerback Jaylen Hill suffered in Saturday’s 23-16 win against the Indianapolis Colts. The ACL and MCL tears forced Hill to injured reserve Tuesday.
The team filled Hill’s spot on the active roster with rookie wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo. That means that Jean-Baptiste is the fifth cornerback on the roster behind starters Brandon Carr and Marlon Humphrey and backups Maurice Canady and Lardarius Webb.
Jean-Baptiste joined the Ravens practice squad Oct. 3 after getting released by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 12. He was promoted to the active roster Dec. 5 and has been a healthy scratch in three consecutive games.
But defensive coordinator Dean Pees said he is comfortable with Jean-Baptiste as the fifth option.
“He’s done well out in practice since he’s been here,” Pees said Thursday. “He’s a guy that’s been around a little bit. This isn’t a guy that’s always been on practice squad or has never had a chance to play. He’s done a good job since he’s been here. I think he knows the game plan pretty well. If it comes to that, it comes to that.”
Jean-Baptiste said he does not feel burdened by the weight of expectations.
“It’s not a lot of pressure,” he said. “Just want to come out and do the same thing I was doing since I got here. I just want to work hard and make things easy.”
Jean-Baptiste will likely see his first snaps of Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals on special teams, and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said there’s a reason Jean-Baptiste was promoted from the practice squad.
“The good news about Stanley is, he’s played in this league, and he’s been practicing with us for X number of weeks,” he said. “Practices are competitive, and we put him in those situations, and that’s why we moved him up on the roster in the first place because we think he can do that. I guess we’ll look at the roster, and we’ll find out on Sunday.”
Jean-Baptiste said he is eager to validate Rosburg’s trust in him.
“That’s a big plus for them to trust me to go out there and play on the kickoff team and kickoff-return team,” he said. “That’s a big plus for them to believe in me to help our team get the victory.”