Injured cornerback Lardarius Webb was confirmed out for the remainder of the preseason in Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh’s press conference Monday, August 18. Webb’s back spasms have taken longer to heal than expected.
Ravens starters rarely play in the final preseason game, so the news primarily affects the Ravens’ Saturday matchup with the Washington Redskins.
Webb, who has been dealing with a back injury he suffered at the beginning of the camp, is expected to be ready to play by the beginning of the regular season.
The Ravens’ caution regarding Webb is a solid move, as the cornerback depth is becoming perilously thin in Baltimore. With Jimmy Smith recovering from a chest injury and Asa Jackson recovering from an ankle injury, the Ravens are wise to be cautious with all three corners.
Webb is especially valuable to the Ravens’ defense. His physicality and cover skills make him among the best cornerbacks in the NFL when healthy. Also, as a six-year veteran, the extra time to heal is unquestionably more helpful than extra preseason reps.
An additional benefit to shelving Webb for the preseason is the additional reps the move provides to the corners on the bubble. This includes guys like Dominique Franks, Chykie Brown, Tramain Jacobs and even Terrence Brooks, who has played significant reps at nickle back in the preseason.
Franks, Brown and Brooks all saw major reps in the Ravens’ win over the Cowboys Saturday. All three saw their share of struggles, though all three also flashed potential.
Harbaugh did not report when Webb was expected back at practice, but Ravens fans should expect to see the veteran cornerback in pads before the regular season starts. And considering the struggles the Ravens’ young corners have had in preseason, Webb should expect a warm welcome back to the field.