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Nick Boyle Struggles to Return to Form

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When Ronnie Stanley and Nick Boyle were injured in 2020, each injury looked gruesome and it didn’t take a professional orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist to understand that their respective recoveries would be grueling struggles.

Stanley tried unsuccessfully to return during the Ravens 2021 opener in Las Vegas. He wasn’t the Ronnie Stanley we’ve come to know, perhaps even taken for granted. His ankle didn’t respond well to surgery and his doctors had to go back in to fix things. And now as you know, Ronnie is on the shelf for the balance of 2021.

Since Stanley signed his new deal on October 30, 2020 worth $98.75M in new money including guarantees of $64.1M, he’s played in just five quarters. His injury against the Steelers occurred on November 1. Now the team simply hopes that Stanley will be ready to go in training camp come July 2022.

Nick Boyle’s injury was equally as devastating. On a rainy November 15 night in Foxborough, Boyle tore his MCL and PCL. And as if that wasn’t enough, the vicious hit ripped his hamstring from the bone while fracturing Boyle’s kneecap. Boyle is now active but the Ravens are bringing him along slowly. Against the Browns, a team against which the Ravens really wanted to establish the run in order to quiet their powerful edge rushers, Boyle played on just 10 snaps.

Maybe Boyle still isn’t ready. Maybe his heavier workload against the Bears took its toll and he’s not yet in game shape. Hopefully it isn’t a sign that he’s not fully recovered from the enormity of his injuries. Whatever the case may be, it might be best to temper our expectations for the game’s best blocking tight end in 2021.

Trading Places

Last week we learned that the Arizona Cardinals signed QB Trace McSorley off the Ravens practice squad and onto their 53-man roster. The player that Arizona said goodbye to in order to free up a roster spot was QB Chris Streveler. Yesterday the Ravens signed Streveler to their practice squad. During Streveler’s one-year plus stint in Arizona he attempted 25 passes, completing 17 for 141 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT equating to a passer rating of 78.9.

Streveler is better known for his accomplishments north of the border where he played for the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers for two seasons. During his time in Winnipeg, Streveler had a passer rating of 81.9, throwing 19 TD’s and 19 INT’s for 2,698 yards. Very much the running QB, Streveler had 22 rushing TD’s and 1,167 yards. Streveler won a Grey Cup with the Blue Bombers before signing with the Cardinals in 2020.

Sunday Night Takeaways

Among the lasting impressions from the Ravens less than aesthetically pleasing win over the Browns on Sunday Night, were the performances of some of the team’s young defenders. Patrick Queen has been reborn since moving to the weak side and is making impactful plays; Tyus Bowser is a multi-faceted weapon that does a lot of everything well and is really coming into his own; Odafe Oweh is a man-child who is only scratching the surface of what he can be; Brandon Stephens, with some seasoning and another offseason, is a step away from being a playmaker; and Justin Madubuike, with his biggest workload to date, is shaping into the player most observers at training camp thought he would be.

With the eventual return of another promising rookie, Daelin Hayes, and a few additions, notably the interior D-line, safety and corner, perhaps the Ravens will return to prominence as a defensive force in 2022.

Another takeaway lies in the Ravens ability to win a big game when Lamar Jackson isn’t wearing Superman’s cape. The Ravens were able to win an important divisional game against the Browns with defense and without relying upon the usual trickery of their resident Houdini. That bodes well for the Ravens as they prepare to tackle the meaty part of their schedule.

[Related Article: Where There’s a Will There’s Oweh]

Jimmy’s Swansong

Jimmy Smith has played just 118 snaps during the 2021 season contributing a total of 10 tackles and 3 passes defensed. Smith hasn’t dressed since the Thursday Night game in Miami and has missed a total of five games this season. That qualifies as a waste of $2.25M in real money, real cap space.

Smith is a popular teammate but let’s be honest, he’s playing like a man prepared to exit the game without any serious injuries. His efforts against the Bengals alone, scream “unwilling tackler”. This is hardly breaking news, but you are watching the last of Smith in the NFL, assuming of course he takes the field again in 2021.

Hungry Like The Wolfe

I remember a “Mic’d Up” sideline scene last season during the Ravens Wild Card Playoff Game in Nashville against the Titans. Derek Wolfe and Calais Campbell stood side-by-side both admiring each other’s game and expressing their enjoyment over being teammates and companions across the Ravens defensive front. We all looked forward to the pair teaming up in 2021 for what would likely be their last season together in Baltimore.

Campbell has done his part. He’s played so well that some believe he could give it another go in 2022 when the behemoth DE would be 36 years old. Time will tell. Wolfe on the other hand is a different story.

Since signing his new deal with the Ravens this past offseason, a 3-year deal worth a base value of $12M, with $6.5M full guaranteed and a Signing Bonus of $5.4M, Wolfe hasn’t played a down – nor will he since he was placed on IR again on November 15. Asked about the situation (a back injury) following Wolfe’s return to IR, John Harbaugh was a bit cryptic.

“I think Derek’s going to be out for the rest of the year, in all honesty. It looks that way. I don’t really have any details on it. I can’t say I understand it completely.”

No details? No comprende?

Something tells me there’s more to this story. Word is that the Ravens sent Wolfe to multiple specialists and no one could make any determination as to the cause of Wolfe’s pain. Perhaps that’s what Harbs was referring to. A frustrated Harbaugh would later defer additional questions about Wolfe’s injury to GM Eric DeCosta and the team doctors.

Like Jimmy Smith, it’s quite possible that we’ve seen the last of Wolfe in Baltimore. Releasing him this offseason would trigger a $2M cap savings.

Derek Wolfe
Ravens defensive lineman Derek Wolfe, pictured during a training camp practice on Aug. 17, 2021 (Photo Credit: Kim Hairston, The Baltimore Sun)

News & Notes

The Ravens game at M&T Bank Stadium against the Green Bay Packers, scheduled for 1PM on December 19 has been flexed to 4:25. The allure of Lamar v. Aaron Rodgers was too great for FOX to resist. Hopefully the Ravens will have a better offensive showing than the last time Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were on the call for the team’s game in Miami…The NFL has mandated that masks be worn indoors during the two-week period surrounding Thanksgiving. The league believes that there could be a spike in COVID cases with players and family members traveling more frequently.

After nailing a 49-yard field goal to extend the Ravens lead to 16-10 during the fourth quarter of Sunday Night’s game against the Browns, Justin Tucker has now connected on 55 straight field goal attempts in the final frame and overtime. NBC’s “SNF Kicks” tracker projected that the attempt would have been good from 64 yards out.

Most believe that the Patriots’ signing of Matthew Judon will yield the Ravens a fourth-round comp pick. But given the size of his contract, playing time and the excellence of his play in 2021, it’s possible that he could deliver a third-round comp pick under the DeCosta Christmas Tree. If you are the type who submits a Pro Bowl ballot, be sure to vote for Judon. Postseason accolades like that contribute to the league’s esoteric comp pick formula. Voting ends on December 16.

Farmer In The Dell

I have to admit as a kid growing up, I thought it was, “A Farmer and Adele”. And when I learned otherwise, I sort of liked my version better although the recording artist I could do without. Upon discovering a “Farmer In The Dell”, I wondered what that actually meant. So, I had to look it up.

A “dell” is a small wooded alley. Uh, do farmers find themselves in small wooded alleys often enough to trigger a nursery rhyme and an accompanying game?

Right about now you’re probably wondering if I’ve had too much spiced eggnog or at best what this has to do with the Ravens, right?

It has to do with this (below), something that I hope is a staple of all Ravens night games at The Bank, in perpetuity. Thanks Omar (Michael K. Williams)! R.I.P.

The post Nick Boyle Struggles to Return to Form appeared first on Russell Street Report.



Source: https://russellstreetreport.com/2021/11/30/lombardis-way/nick-boyle-ravens-roundup/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nick-boyle-ravens-roundup


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