4 most important Ravens players who are not starters
Ravens’ Player No. 1: Brandon Stephens
Ravens fans can eagerly rub their hands together awaiting the return of elite cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey, but they should equally be prepared for the fact that one or both of those defenders may miss time this season.
Both are recovering from season-ending injuries, and though their respective rehabs have gone well so far, anything could happen between now and the start of the season.
Baltimore would be wise to hope for the best and prepare for the worst, and should either Peters or Humphrey sit out for a few games, cornerback Brandon Stephens‘ number will be called.
The Ravens also have rookie Jalyn Armour-Davis and Kevon Seymour at their disposal, but coach John Harbaugh has said Stephens could see an increased role in 2022 and that the second-year defensive back looks to be more of a “corner/safety instead of a safety/corner at this point in time.”
Stephens’ do-it-all versatility allows him to plug in anywhere on the field, but given Baltimore’s myriad of safety options, his services may more likely be needed as a backup outside corner.
Stephens started 11 games in 2021 and recorded 78 total tackles along with four passes defended, putting together an overall modest rookie season. Compared to Peters or Humphrey, Stephens admittedly lacks experience and doesn’t pose as a starting-caliber defender, but he’s on the right track and could end up making the same impact former Ravens corner Anthony Averett did last season.
In a best-case scenario, Peters and Humphrey would play every single game of the season, the Ravens would finish top-5 in pass defense, and the team would advance to the postseason. In a worst-case scenario….well, we don’t want think about that just yet.