OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens‘ horrid run of injuries continued Thursday, when cornerback Marcus Peters and running back Gus Edwards both suffered season-ending torn ACLs in practice, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Peters went down with a knee injury first, and Edwards was injured a few plays later, according to a source. Ravens coach John Harbaugh then called an end to practice, the source added.
With its season opener four days away, Baltimore wasn’t practicing in full pads Thursday.
Edwards becomes the third Ravens running back to suffer a season-ending injury in a span of 12 days. J.K. Dobbins tore the ACL in his left knee in the preseason finale Aug. 28, and Justice Hill hurt an Achilles tendon Sept. 9.
Ty’Son Williams, a practice player from a year ago who doesn’t have an NFL carry, becomes the Ravens’ lead back. The other two running backs on the roster — Trenton Cannon and Le’Veon Bell (practice squad) — started practicing with the Ravens only on Wednesday.
Last week, Ravens coach John Harbaugh praised the development of Williams, who joined Baltimore as an undrafted rookie out of BYU last year.
“He jumped out right away last year in practices,” Harbaugh said last week. “He just got better and better. So, what he is now is what he’s worked hard to become, and now he goes from here. We’ll see what he does. I think he’s going to do really well.”
The Ravens are also signing free-agent running back Devonta Freeman to their practice squad on Thursday, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told Schefter. It is expected that Freeman will be promoted to the active roster.
— Lamar Jackson (@Lj_era8) September 9, 2021
The only player remaining from last year’s backfield for the Ravens is Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard, who had minus-1 yard rushing last season.
The Ravens have had the NFL’s most dominant ground attack, leading the league in rushing the past two seasons. Baltimore was the only team to call designed runs over 50% of the time, but injuries have taken a toll on what was considered a deep backfield.
Dobbins and Edwards totaled 1,528 yards rushing last season, which accounted for 81% of the output by Baltimore running backs. Edwards signed a three-year, $12.38 million deal in June that included $8 million in guaranteed money.
The loss of Peters would represent the most significant injury to the defense this year. The Ravens have depth at cornerback, but it will be difficult to replace Peters’ playmaking ability. His 31 interceptions leads the NFL since he entered the league in 2015.
Since Peters was traded to Baltimore in Week 9 of 2019, the Ravens have allowed the fewest yards per pass attempt (6.1) and tied for the second-fewest touchdown passes allowed (31), according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
A few hours before Thursday’s practice, Peters told reporters how playing with the Ravens brought back his joy for the game.
“It just felt good here,” Peter said. “All the guys just were young and upbeat, but were willing and determined to work hard to win a Super Bowl here. … I’ve been appreciating coming to work. I just like being in Baltimore.”
The Ravens open the season at the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football.