Travis Jones is currently playing the best football of his career for the Baltimore Ravens. He had seven pressures before the past three weeks and has seven in the past three games. He has 1.5 sacks in the last two weeks after entering the Chargers game with just one career sack.
The Baltimore Ravens should play Travis Jones more to close out the season
The second-year player may be hitting his stride at the right time, and it is time for the Baltimore Ravens to play him more often.
Despite the increased performance, he is not playing much more. This year, he is playing 35.9% of the snaps, which is up from 34.5%, but it could go up even more. Beyond that, it is below that 35.9% in the last two games, despite his success.
This is almost less about the development of Jones and more about the rest of the situation for Justin Madubuike and Michael Pierce as well. This duo has been so underrated in leading the Ravens upfront, but they are both hitting an interesting point.
Madubuike is playing 66.6% of the snaps this year when his career high before this was 59.9%. He is just 60 snaps away from his career-high as well, so he will hit that early into week 16 and have nearly three full games of snaps more than last year.
For Madubuike, this is more natural with the development of his career. However, at the rate he is playing, the Ravens have to think about protecting him for the playoffs. He is too valuable not to.
For Michael Pierce, he is much older and has a longer injury history. Still, he is playing 58.3% of the snaps this year, which is 2.7% more than his career high. He is 73 away from the most in his career, but that came in 2017.
Pierce has only played 342 snaps in the last three seasons, so 521 is a big step up. The Ravens could kill two birds with one stone over the next four games. They could get Pierce and Madubuike some rest and lower their snaps, just a few less each. Those extra snaps can go to Travis Jones, and the Ravens could end up with another ascending stud on the line as they head into the playoffs.