Key Ravens Defender’s Return is Boost for Defense

Marcus Williams Injury

Marcus Williams’ injury stint is finally over. He returned to practice this week and aims to be back out on the field soon.

Williams suffered a wrist injury during the Baltimore Ravens’ tight 19-17 win against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 5. Prior to the injury, Williams was one of Baltimore’s top playmakers, notching three interceptions, one tackle-for-loss and 33 total tackles.

The 26-year-old was the team’s marquee signing of the off-season. He signed a five-year, $70 million contract with the team and was certainly living up to the price tag early on.

In his absence, the team relied on a combination of Geno Stone, Chuck Clark, and 2022 NFL Draft first-round selection, Kyle Hamilton. Hamilton improved vastly with more playing time and has been one of the team’s top playmakers of late.

Williams’ return is a boost for the Ravens defense, but he is not the only incoming help. The Ravens recently welcomed back Tyus Bowser and David Ojabo too, both of whom are starting to see some more action.

Even though the Ravens are getting healthier, they should still consider some defensive free agents to aid their playoff push.

Marcus Williams Role in the Ravens Defense

Since Williams’ injury, the Ravens defense has undergone some changes. The most evident of these is the blockbuster trade for Roquan Smith. The former Chicago Bears inside linebacker has made a fantastic impact for the defense and has elevated the players around him too.

When Williams returns to the matchday squad, expect him to slide back in as the starting safety. Before his injury, he was having a Pro Bowl-caliber season, and there is no reason to expect that to change. With the quality he brings, Williams’ return is a boost for the Ravens defense.

Williams should be paired with Hamilton when he returns, with Geno Stone as the primary backup. Hamilton has improved throughout the season and was one of the Ravens’ best players in their 13-3 win over the Carolina Panthers.

Some might feel that dropping Stone is harsh. Stone has been an excellent stand-in for Williams and has quietly been one of the Ravens’ best defensive players. However, there is likely to be space for Stone and Hamilton to both have significant playing time. With Stone playing so sturdily, he could be paired with Williams on some sets. This would allow the team to use Hamilton in more disguised looks. This could help out the slot, a position that the Ravens have struggled to find a quality starter all season.

The great thing about Williams’ return is that he re-joins one of the league’s top defenses currently. They are ranked 10th in points allowed and 11th in yards allowed despite a shaky start that saw them concede 42 points to the Miami Dolphins. With the schedule getting easier, the team improving, and key pieces like Williams returning, Baltimore’s path to the playoffs seems comfortable.