You’ve heard the expression: “million dollar talent with a five-cent head.” For better or worse, the NFL is filled with players who fit that description to a T.
You know the kind. The ones who have everything going for them and instead of making decent choices, opt for the ones that cause organizations to wonder whether they are worth the headaches.
Enter Ravens tight end Nick Boyle.
Boyle returned to the practice field on Wednesday following his second NFL suspension, one that resulted in his missing the first ten games of the season.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, who didn’t mince words when speaking about Boyle’s suspension, thinks the 2015 5th round draft pick is ready to make the most of perhaps his last chance in the NFL.
“Sure. I think Nick really feels like he missed out,” said Harbaugh following Wednesday’s practice. “He says, ‘What do I do? I work out, and I think about football, then I go work out again, and I think about football.’ He’s got a football head.
“That’s who he is, what he thinks about. That 10 weeks, 11 weeks, actually, was very painful for him. I’m hoping he makes somebody pay for his pain on that by playing well whenever we’re able to get him out there.”
The former Delaware Blue Hen has an immediate chance to bolster the Ravens tight end group upon his return to the field. Given the lack of depth behind starter Dennis Pitta and the oft injured Crockett Gillmore (limited in practice Wednesday), Boyle, the teams best blocking tight end will be needed down the stretch.
“I think it just gives us a little more versatility to have those guys back,” stated Joe Flacco on getting both of his tight ends back on Wednesday. “[They have] the ability to give Dennis [Pitta] a break here and there and just add to the mix.
“I think they are good players, so when you can get them back on the field, it is nice. I think Nick was here at 3 a.m. on Monday, so I think he is ready to go.”
Boyle has appeared in 11 games (two starts), hauling in 18 receptions for 153 yards including 10 for first downs. While he’s not found the end zone yet in his short NFL career, his blocking and pass catching ability can only help a struggling Ravens offense.
While it remains to be seen when Boyle will see the field, (he may have a first class reservation in John Harbaugh’s doghouse), the talent is there.
Now here’s hoping he’s finally figured it out. There are several paths his career could take from here, but it would be a shame for the “five-cent head” label to be that one that defines him. We’re pulling for you, Nick.
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