The Baltimore Ravens have signed Sammy Watkins…again. The move comes after Devin Duvernay was placed on IR following an injury at practice. With the team thin at the receiver position, a new face was a necessity.
Watkins was previously on the Ravens in 2021. That season, he played 13 games. With a tumultuous quarterback situation in Baltimore that year, Watkins managed just 394 yards and a touchdown. The 29-year-old was most recently with the Green Bay Packers, playing in nine games before being waived. With the Packers, Watkins had 206 receiving yards and no touchdowns. This was despite being part of one of the league’s thinnest receiving corps.
Though 2022 has been quiet for Watkins so far, the Ravens will be hoping that they can rely on the veteran receiver down the stretch. The Ravens are currently 9-5 and second in the AFC North. Their path to the playoffs has been made tougher due to their toothless offense of late. Even though they have plenty of Pro Bowl talent throughout the roster, part of their struggles can be put down to a lack of quality receivers.
One thing to note is Watkins’ professionalism. He was held in high regard by the young receivers on the Packers, showing them the ropes and helping them acclimate to professional life. Given how many young receivers are on the Ravens, Watkins could be viewed as a mentor as well as a depth piece.
READ MORE: Ravens 2023 Pro Bowlers
Closing the Week 15 book, I wanna mention this from Romeo Doubs on Sammy Watkins. Don't think the average #Packers fan realizes SW's full impact. Total pro.
"Going to miss Sammy dearly. Every interview, I make sure represent him b/c he showed me the way ever since I got here"
— Wes Hodkiewicz (@WesHod) December 20, 2022
Sammy Watkins Role Among Ravens Wide Receivers
The need for quality receiver depth made the Ravens sign Watkins. He currently projects as one of the team’s rotational wideouts. DeMarcus Robinson will retain his role as the team’s premier wideout.
Behind Robinson, the Ravens have James Proche, DeSean Jackson, and now Watkins too. Proche has seen an increase in opportunities of late but has failed to seize any of them. He was targeted on two fourth downs in the loss against the Cleveland Browns but failed to clutch up. He was also used on a trick play against the Denver Broncos but ultimately threw a horrifying interception.
Jackson has been effective when used. Despite this, it is clear that he has lost a step given how little game time he is given. The Ravens cannot rely on Jackson to be a constant threat as he clearly does not have the endurance to be on the field for many consecutive snaps at a time.
Thus leaves Watkins. Watkins’ 2022 season has been underwhelming so far. He fell behind Allen Lazard, Christian Watson, and Romeo Doubs in the Packers’ receiving room. The Ravens will likely use him as the WR2 or WR3, with Jackson serving more of a specialized role.
A positive, however, is that Watkins played with Tyler Huntley last season and so he has good chemistry with the stand-in starter and is familiar with Greg Roman’s playbook.
Sammy Watkins was clutch last year when healthy:
Week 1, Vegas: 96 yards, 4th QT 49-yard grab set up TD
Week 3, Detroit: 36-yard grab set up Justin Tucker’s 66-yarder
Week 11, Chicago: 29-yard grab set up the game-winning TD
Week 13, Pittsburgh: 6-yard TD with 12 seconds left
— Ryan Mink (@ryanmink) December 20, 2022
That said, it would be no surprise to see the Ravens sign another receiver. Behind the aforementioned names, the team have Andy Isabella and Shemar Bridges on the practice squad. However, neither are ideal substitute options. Baltimore had previously been interested in Odell Beckham Jr. but further news about the severity of his injury and his links with the Dallas Cowboys suggest that ship has sailed.
As Ravens Sign Watkins, Duvernay Ruled Out
Duvernay’s injury forced Baltimore’s hand, making the Ravens sign Watkins. Duvernay has been placed on the IR, meaning he will miss the rest of the season. His injury has come at a bad time for the playoff-chasing Ravens, but it seems that the team is confident in sticking with Robinson, Proche, and Sammy Watkins.
#Ravens current WR room:
– James Proche
– DeSean Jackson
– Demarcus Robinson
– Sammy Watkins
– Andy Isabella
– Shemar Bridges
– Michael Thomas
– Binjimen Victor
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 20, 2022
Duvernay is the team’s third receiver with a long-term injury this season. Rashod Bateman suffered a season-ending injury at the start of the season and Tylan Wallace has also had his year ended through injury.
Duvernay had been a key cog in the Ravens offense this year. He was crucial during Bateman’s first absence and has since played an important role as the team’s WR2 and gadget player.
The young receiver’s loss will certainly be felt in Baltimore. However, the hope is that the team will manage without him as he is expected back ready for 2023.