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Monday, February 6, 2023

Ravens Turn Back to Sammy Watkins for WR Help

The latest edition of the Baltimore Ravens never-ending search for wide receiver help circles back to a familiar friend in veteran Sammy Watkins. The Ravens claimed the veteran wideout off waivers and placed starter Devin Duvernay on injured reserve after he was hurt in Tuesday’s practice.

Watkins returns to the Ravens where he caught 27 passes for 394 yards and a touchdown last season with Baltimore before joining a new team last offseason. Watkins signed a one-year deal worth four million to join the Green Bay Packers in April. The Packers unsuccessfully tried to work it out with Watkins who only posted 13 receptions for 206 yards this season.

A hamstring injury landed Watkins on injured reserve on September 24. He was activated off injured reserve on October 22. Green Bay reluctantly released Watkins on December 19 because they had to open up a roster spot for another position where they had a shortage of players. 

“I can’t thank him enough for the type of person he is, the type of energy he brought to this team,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said of Watkins. 

This second stint in Baltimore won’t carry the same value as the one-year, six-million-dollar contract that led Watkins to the Ravens in 2021. The Ravens hope this time around comes with a lot more success. The reunion comes because Duvernay reportedly suffered a severe foot injury during practice earlier this week. Duvernay has started 13 games this season and finished third on the team with 37 catches for 407 yards and three touchdowns, but Baltimore’s passing attack has struggled this season. Tight end Mark Andrews once again leads the Ravens with 709 receiving yards. Demarcus Robinson’s 419 receiving yards leads all wideouts with Duvernay right behind him at 407 receiving yards. 

The Ravens also lost Rashad Bateman to injury earlier this season. Bateman, a 2021 first-round pick by Baltimore, caught 15 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns this season. He elected to have foot surgery last month.  Baltimore added Robinson to the roster soon after Bateman’s injury and later signed veteran speedster DeSean Jackson to the practice squad. 

Watkins figures to hit the ground running since he is only a year removed from playing in offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s scheme. Wide receiver coach Tee Martin will be tasked with making sure Watkins is up to par as soon as possible so he can be a contributor on game day.

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