On Sunday's 37-31 overtime win over the Los Angeles Rams, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey allowed four catches for 92 yards in one of his worst statistical outings of the year in the week in which he made his return from injury. He was also called for pass interference on a third-and-long play.
There is no questioning that going forward, the Ravens will need more from their three-time Pro Bowl cornerback who clearly didn’t look like himself and was a step behind for much of Sunday.
The schedule is getting tougher, so Humphrey (like the rest of the team as a whole, mind you) will need to level up to put a strong run through the home stretch of the regular season, one that includes games against three division leaders and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh expressed his confidence in Humphrey in his Monday press conference, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.
Harbaugh lifted some weight off Humphrey's shoulders, saying "Marlon Humphrey is the least of my concerns. He’s a great football player, and he’s very conscientious. I know he’s going to play great football for us."
Humphrey's recent challenges could be related to a calf muscle injury he suffered in a late-November game against the Browns that kept him off the field for the matchups before the bye week and leading up to last Sunday's clash with the Rams.
Additionally, Humphrey also missed the first four games of the regular season following foot surgery during mid-training camp and making a later-than-expected return. His comeback in Week 5 was also one in which he struggled, notably when Steelers wideout George Pickens cooked him for the game-winning touchdown.
Looking ahead, the Ravens announced on Tuesday the activation of second-year cornerback Damarion Williams off Injured Reserve to cover for Humphrey's struggles and the potential absence of injured defensive back Kyle Hamilton. Arthur Maulet is also expected to play a role in the defense with Hamilton probably out for a week.
Harbaugh also hinted at possible defensive adjustments in future games, including the idea of moving Humphrey to the inside slot in certain situations. That would mean moving Williams and veteran Ronald Darby into more prominent roles covering outside wide receivers, which is probably something are more suited for than defending the slot.