Make room, Patrick Ricard. Tim White can play on both sides of the line of scrimmage as well.
White, a wide receiver who did not catch a pass on his only target in the Ravens’ 30-20 victory over the Washington Redskins on Thursday night, lined up as a slot cornerback on at least two defensive plays in the third quarter. He blitzed on one play, but did not get to quarterback Kevin Hogan.
White said he had not lined up on defense since he played cornerback at Hart High School in Santa Clarita, Calif.
“Coach [John] Harbaugh just came up to me, and he was like, ‘Would you want to play nickel if we put you there?’ ” he said. “I was like, ‘Yeah, of course.’ I just went out there and played. It was like backyard football. Just having fun out there.”
The defense was in dire need of defensive backs after dressing only six before the game and then losing cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste at the end of the first quarter because of a suspected broken right forearm.
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“Played man coverage with him,” Harbaugh said of the defensive coverage with White. “He did a good job. We were running a little low on guys there.”
At 175 pounds, the 5-foot-10 White would be tied with cornerback Jaylen Hill — who is on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee — as the lightest defensive backs on the roster. But White said he was prepared to make a tackle if the play came his way.
“It was just natural,” he said. “It was like my friend telling me, ‘You can’t guard me,’ and me going out there trying to guard him. It felt really good. I felt comfortable doing it. I wasn’t nervous or anything. I was just excited.”
Ricard, who is renowned for his ability to play as a defensive end, offense as a fullback and special teams as a member of the kick return unit, said he was unaware of White’s presence on defense until after the game.
Asked if White could play cornerback, Ricard replied, “He’s fast, and he’s got great instincts for the ball. We’ll see how he did, but that’s pretty cool.”
White, who is also competing with rookie Janarion Grant for the job as the return specialist, is vying with Grant, Breshad Perriman and rookie Jordan Lasley for one or two spots on the active roster. But White said that has not been on his mind.
“I don’t even think about that,” he said. “I’m just glad I was able to finish a game and see my teammates, and that’s what’s most important — just going out there and enjoying the game that you love to play. I leave it up to God at that point.”