After faring well in his first NFL start last week, Ravens left tackle James Hurst acknowledged that Sunday’s game against the Colts will provide a different challenge because of the communication issues that traditionally come into play for an offensive line on the road.
Hurst, though, takes some comfort in that he’ll be quite familiar with his surroundings. The undrafted free agent, who made the team out of training camp and then was elevated into a starting role when Eugene Monroe had knee surgery, grew up in Plainfield, Ind., and has attended “countless” games at Lucas Oil Stadium.
He had already been looking forward to the trip home – Plainfield is about a half hour outside Indianapolis – but the sense of anticipation has only increased since Hurst became the Ravens’ starting left tackle last week.
“The chances obviously were pretty slim going in [but] it’s pretty cool that it happened like this,” Hurst said. “I’m really excited about it, hoping that I’ll feel a little more comfortable knowing where I am and having been in that stadium before. It’s going to be cool to go back and know that my friends and family are there watching.”
Hurst, who admitted the past week or so has been a whirlwind, initially said that he’ll have a “few” family members and friends in attendance. However, after giving it some more thought, he acknowledged that a “few” was the wrong word choice and settled on a “bunch.”
With a game against the Carolina Panthers already under his belt, Hurst doesn’t expect to be overly nervous even with the added attention of him playing in his home state.
“I settled in pretty quickly [against Carolina],” said Hurst. “I think before the game, I was definitely really nervous, not knowing what to expect. But once you play a couple of plays, you just realize it’s football. Obviously, it’s a different level with a lot better competition. Everyone over there across the ball is a really great football player but at the end of the day, it is just football. I have to focus on that and doing what I know how to do.”