Ravens: Now healthy, Tavon Young faces critical season in 2021

Ravens, Tavon Young (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Ravens, Tavon Young (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens began their three-day mandatory minicamp on Tuesday and saw the return of a familiar face to the practice field. That familiar face was cornerback Tavon Young.

Young stepped foot on the gridiron for the first time since tearing his ACL in Week 2 of last season. And for a player who’s dealt with as many injuries as he has, it was certainly nice to see him back in action.

Now healthy, the Ravens hope to see Young return to form and live up to the potential that he showed earlier in his career.

After all, it wasn’t too long ago that Young looked like one of the rising star slot cornerbacks in the NFL. Injuries have decimated his career to this point, but it’s not too late to turn things around.

Tavon Young faces a critical season with the Ravens in 2021.

A fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Young found his way into a regular role on defense early in his career starting 11 of 16 games as a rookie.

Young looked well on his way to becoming one of the better nickel cornerbacks in the league before a torn ACL suffered in June of the following year wiped out his entire sophomore season.

He returned healthy in 2018 and battled through a nagging groin injury to play in 15 games. The 2017 season looked more like a fluke than the start of a potential pattern.

The Ravens rewarded him with a three-year, $25.8 million extension that offseason, expecting to keep an important part of their secondary around for years to come.

Unfortunately, since signing that extension in February of 2019, Young has played in just two games.

A neck injury kept Young sidelined for all of 2019 before a torn ACL suffered in Week 2 of last season rendered him essentially useless for his second straight campaign.

Despite being in the league for five years (going on six), Young has essentially played just two seasons. But now that he’s healthy, the Ravens once again expect him to be an important part of the team’s defense.

We only caught a slight glimpse of what the trio of Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, and Tavon Young could look like at the very beginning of last season.

But those three combined with the likes of Jimmy Smith and Anthony Averett form what is likely the deepest cornerback room in the NFL. The Ravens have five legitimate starting-caliber cornerbacks while some teams don’t even have two.

Not only will Young need to stay healthy in 2021, but he’ll need to prove that he hasn’t lost a step after missing so much time. The 27-year-old could theoretically be cut for a cap savings of nearly $6 million next offseason if need be.

The Ravens know this. Young knows this. And you could bet he’ll be playing with a chip on his shoulder as he looks to prove his worth this season.

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It’s been a long journey for Tavon Young. But now back in action, he’s hoping to remind everyone of what they’ve been missing.