A toe injury on his left foot forced Nick Boyle to sit out his first game of the 2017 season in the Ravens’ 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 5, and the tight end is champing at the bit to return as quickly as possible.
“I’m not used to missing games, and it’s not the most fun thing to be in the training room because you feel like you’re missing out during practices,” he said. “That’s something that I hate to do. I want to be out there, I want to be playing. But it’s important for me to get healthy and get ready to play as soon as I can.”
Boyle, 24, started seven of the first eight games and has caught 18 passes for 138 yards. But it is his prowess as a blocking tight end that has helped him carve out a key role on the offense.
“He was the centerpiece of the run game,” coach John Harbaugh said a week ago. “That position does a lot of things for us. It is a lot of multiple different types of blocks that Nick excels at.”
Boyle, 6 feet 4, 270 pounds, said he wants to be the type of tight end who can run routes and emerge as a threat downfield. But he acknowledged that there is a certain degree of glee derived from being able to push an opponent back to open running lanes for the running backs.
“It’s something that I love to do,” he said. “A lot of guys like to catch balls and get yards that way and be noticed that way. Whatever it is, I love to run-block. I love to feel dominant over another defender, and I think that’s where I get a lot of satisfaction. If that’s what they call me to do for most of my plays, I’ll be glad to do that.”
Boyle will resume that duty as soon as the medical staff green-lights his return from the toe injury, which he said he initially suffered in a 40-0 rout of the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 26. To that end, Boyle said the bye week should help accelerate the recovery process.
“I think it will help me tremendously,” he said. “I think it’s good timing for me, and it will allow me to get healthy and be able to go back out there and play.”
Homing in on Hundley: The defense will get its first look of rookie quarterback Brett Hundley, who has replaced injured Aaron Rodgers (broken collarbone). Hundley, the organization’s fifth-round pick in the 2015 NFL draft, is 1-2 as a starter this season, but he completed 18 of 25 passes for 212 yards and one touchdown in Sunday’s win in Chicago.
Harbaugh sounded impressed with what he has seen from Hundley.
“He looks like he’s plugging right into the offense,” Harbaugh said. “It seems like they’ve kind of brought him along, and he runs the Green Bay offense that they’ve been running for a number of years. He’s running the offense in his way. It looks like he’s getting better every week.”