Dec 5, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; A Baltimore Ravens helmet sits on the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The rich will get richer, as the Baltimore Ravens are receiving reinforcements during their well-earned postseason bye week. Considering that the Ravens have the NFL’s best record, they seemed to be perfectly fine shorthanded. Still, head coach John Harbaugh should be thrilled about Devin Duvernay’s return to practice after landing on the IR in December.
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When it concerns receiving, Devin Duvernay’s presence isn’t what excites Baltimore’s coaching staff. He only has nine targets all season, hauling in four of them for 18 yards. In his four-year career, Duvernay has 94 receptions for 898 yards and five touchdowns. Nice numbers, but far from eye-popping.
Rather, it is his work on special teams that made him an All-Pro in 2021. Duvernay has been a consistently great return man for the Ravens throughout his career. Even though he missed a few games this season, he still led the team in punt returning and kick returning. Special teams have proven over the years to make or break a team’s Super Bowl chances during the playoffs.
Dec 17, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh reacts after the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Ravens Need All Hands on Deck
With the NFL’s best defense and an offense that finished the season fourth in scoring, the Baltimore Ravens know that the group in their locker room is special. Their strong season was highlighted by a 14-point road win against the 49ers, a team that’s favored to win the NFC. If the Baltimore Ravens could beat them like that (in hostile territory), they have to feel unstoppable.
Yet, playing and winning their upcoming games will require avoiding game-breaking mistakes. Although Tylan Wallace filled in admirably for Duvernay, including the team’s only punt/kick return TD of the season to win a game, Wallace isn’t as sure-handed fielding kicks. John Harbaugh can ask his brother Jim about Kyle Williams, and the price of special teams mistakes. Devin Duvernay is huge for this Ravens team, which is eyeing a Super Bowl.
Dec 10, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Tylan Wallace (16) and quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) celebrate after winning in overtime against the Los Angeles Rams at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports