The Ravens held their final practice before hosting Seattle on Sunday and for the third day in a row starting safety Marcus Williams only practiced on a limited basis.
There is a chance Williams return this weekend, however, and head coach John Harbaugh spoke about that and how his return might impact the rest of Baltimore's defense, even teasing a new role for sophomore safety Kyle Hamilton.
Harbaugh praised Kyle Hamilton's growth since his rookie season, noting improvement across the board and highlighting his adaptation to different positions and roles without trouble, making him one of the most versatile defenders rostered by the Ravens.
"He's a pretty versatile player. He plays everywhere. He plays both safeties. He plays in the nickel. He plays in the dime sometimes, he blitzes and covers. He's been on wide receivers," Harbaugh explained. "We're pretty happy with him."
Now that Marcus Williams is back, or close to making a comeback to the field, the question of whether or not to put him back on the starting lineup in exchange for Geno Stone has been one of the main talking points of the week.
Stone, just for context, has racked up the most interceptions across the NFL through Week 8 with five picks. Of course, he entered the season as a backup and third-string safety behind Hamilton and Williams. His sudden and expected explosion, however, has changed the equation of the Ravens secondary.
Harbaugh's comments about Hamilton, however, might have revealed what will happen next and how defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald will deal with this "good problem," as Macdonald himself labeled it.
"I think he knows, more than anybody in the way he approaches it, that he can get better," Harbaugh said of Hamilton. "A lot better even than he is right now."
All of that, along with mentioning Hamilton's versatility and adaptation to different roles, makes us think that there is a possibility Baltimore uses Hamilton in the nickel corner spot to handle opposite slot receivers with Stone and Williams sitting deep at safety.
The original plan coming off training camp was for Hamilton to transition to a full-time safety role following his rookie season, but with Stone simply playing excellent football now it might make sense to keep him rolling while sliding Hamilton closer to the line of scrimmage, where he already proved to be more than capable of playing at last season.
All of this talk might be a little bit premature, however, considering Williams has not fully practiced throughout the week and is entering Week 9 listed "questionable" to play and as a game-time decision, per Harbaugh.