The Baltimore Ravens were dealt another unexpected blow on Tuesday with another member of the secondary going down injured even though we had no clue that had been the case until the franchise officially announced it yesterday.
The Ravens made official the move to third-year nickel corner Ar'Darius Washington to Injured Reserve, ruling the starting out for the next four games and preventing him from appearing in any matchup until after Week 7, with that matchup taking place in London against Tennessee Titans.
Ar’Darius Washington was placed on injured reserve due to a "chest injury," according to the team's announcement.
The exact timing of the injury remains unclear, as Washington played almost the entire game on Sunday, missing just three defensive snaps, during the Ravens' 27-24 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on the road in Week 2.
That made this news a bit surprising, as it came just one day after Harbaugh said that the team was “not there yet” in terms of putting any of its players on injured reserve, only to do exactly that 24 hours later by adding another member of the Ravens already-depleted secondary to the injury bill.
How does the Baltimore Ravens secondary look after Ar'Darius Washington's injury?
Washington's absence will be felt whether Baltimore wants it or not. At the end of the day, while Washington didn't enter training camp as the favorite to get the starting gig at the nickel corner position, he ended up snatching it from all other members of the Ravens Flock--although Washington was rather mediocre against the Bengals.
In Washington's absence, the Ravens will most probably turn to veteran nickel corner and former Pittsburgh Steelers starter at the position Arthur Maulet, who had been a healthy scratch in the first two games of the season.
Maulet, 30 years old and signed shortly before training camp began, was initially competing for the primary nickel role and boasts ample experience defending the slot, having played 481 defensive snaps across 17 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022.
He tackled 59 foes, picked a pass, and sacked opposing quarterbacks twice. However, as promising as all of those numbers looked ahead of the regular season, Maulet suffered a hamstring injury in August and hasn't been able to appear in any game clad in Ravens' threads yet.
When it comes to defensive back injury woes, the problems keep pilling for the Ravens. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey underwent minor foot surgery last month and is yet to return to practice. Rock Ya-Sin, expected to start opposite Humphrey, has been limited due to a knee injury sustained in training camp and is only ramping up his game of late.
CB Damarion "Pepe" Williams started the year on IR while fellow corner Trayvon Mullen is out for the season.
Safety Marcus Williams suffered a pectoral injury in Week 1 but he has declined to undergo surgery/enter IR so he should be back in two or three weeks at the latest.
Ravens sign C Sam Mustipher to fill CB Ar'Darius Washington vacated roster spot
In a complementary transaction to fill Washington's vacant roster spot, the Ravens announced the signing of center Sam Mustipher to their 53-man roster. So far, Mustipher has appeared in both games of the regular season, including starting against the Bengals last Sunday with phenom Tyler Linderbaum ruled out for that game. He's racked up 11 tackles to go with one tackle for a loss, one sack, and two pass deflections.
Mustipher, 26, signed with the Bears as a UDFA rookie coming out of Notre Dame in 2019. He spent all of his career in Chicago eventually becoming a starter until getting released earlier this year. Baltimore signed him, then cut him ahead of the roster-cuts deadline, but ultimately added him to their Practice Squad.
The Ravens moved Mustipher to their active roster in the past two weeks because of the multiple injuries affecting the offensive line, and he's now locked into a deal to spend the remainder of the season as a member of the 53-man roster.