Dec 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (16) runs the ball against Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb (21) in the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati defeated Baltimore 34-17. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
After weeks of reassurance from the Ravens that cornerback Lardarius Webb would be ready for the regular season, the team decided that he wasn’t able go against the Bengals. There were a number of conflicting reports flying around after Webb was officially declared questionable on Friday. After the Ravens released fellow corner Derek Cox on Saturday, it was assumed that Webb would be good to go for Sunday’s game. But the Ravens declared Lardarius Webb inactive against the Bengals.
Aditi Kinkhabwala from NFL Network and NFL.com first shed some doubt on Webb’s availability late Saturday afternoon.
Regardless, most pundits stuck to their belief that Webb would be available, especially since his absence would mean that the Ravens would only have three corners active for Sunday’s opener.
But Webb’s refusal to speak with the media added additional doubt. Typically players (a la Jimmy Smith) that are going to play don’t have any issue with speaking on their condition. And even though the Ravens used safeties Anthony Levine, Terrence Brooks, and Darian Stewart a bit at corner during the preseason, it still seemed odd that they would be willing to risk carrying three corners in regular season action. Especially when two of the three have had injury concerns of their own.
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But after pregame warmups and drills with secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo, the team decided that Webb wasn’t physically ready to face the Bengals. Aaron Wilson broke the news on Twitter.
The Ravens will likely shadow Bengals all-world wide receiver A.J. Green with Jimmy Smith, leaving Asa Jackson and Chykie Brown to pick up the scraps.