The Ravens went back to practicing at The Castle on Wednesday ahead of their Week 9 matchup against the visiting Seattle Seahawks, and they did so without six players (five of them starters): Odell Beckham Jr., Gus Edwards, Ronnie Stanley, Morgan Moses, Odafe Oweh, and Rock Ya-Sin. One player who returned to the field, however, was "starting" safety Marcus Williams.
Truth be told, no matter how many bodies go down or return to availability any given week it's fair to think the Ravens will simply deal reasonably well with that. It's been the case for eight weeks now, so this is not going to catch them by surprise anymore.
The return of safety Marcus Williams, for example, poses a conundrum and a good dilemma Baltimore and the coaches will need to solve before Sunday's matchup. The reason? Mighty great backup Geno Stone.
Stone, just in case you've been living under a rock, is currently leading the league with five interceptions. Yes, he's leading the NFL by himself and he started the season as the backup safety of the Flock behind both Williams and Kyle Hamilton.
"[Geno Stone is] playing amazing. He comes out, he comes to work every day locked in, and he's hungry. When you have a guy who's hungry and wants to go out there and ball … He does that each and every week, and I'm just proud of him, all of his progress and everything he's done this year. I hope he continues that."- Marcus Williams, Baltimore Ravens
Speaking after Wednesday's practice, Williams commended Stone's performance, stating, "He’s playing amazing. I’m proud of all his progress and everything he’s done this year, and I hope he continues that.”
So, is Williams expecting to have to fight for his role after relinquishing to Stone after his torn pec (first) and hamstring (second) injuries? That could reasonably be the case.
"I’m just going to keep getting better," Williams said about his availability and fitness. Asked about his chances of playing this Sunday, he simply said "We'll see what happens."
The Ravens could opt to use three safeties, they could move Kyle Hamilton to the nickel corner position to make room for Williams in the secondary, or could simply leave Williams sitting on the pine considering how fantastic the Stone-Kyle pairing has been to date.
At the end of the day, however, it's great news to have Williams back whether he instantly hits the field along with Stone and Hamilton or he is forced to spend some time on the bench or rotating along with them. The more players available as the season grows older, the better, and Baltimore looks to be getting stronger when they'll need that depth the most.