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Ravens Have Three Starting Cornerbacks, Including Rookie Marlon Humphrey

Posted Nov 21, 2017

Baltimore showed its depth at cornerback during Sunday’s 23-0 win over the Green Bay Packers. Rookie Marlon Humphrey played 49 snaps while veteran Brandon Carr had 27.

If it was a question before Baltimore’s 23-0 shutout win in Green Bay, it shouldn’t be anymore.

First-round rookie cornerback Marlon Humphrey is ready to be a full-time starter if needed.

After searching for enough starting cornerbacks for years, the Ravens have reached a point where they can mix and match their cornerbacks, even among starters.

Humphrey played 49 snaps against the Packers. It was the most snaps he’s played all season outside of the Ravens’ Week 5 win in Oakland, when Humphrey took over for Jimmy Smith after his Achilles soreness flared up. 

This time in Green Bay, Humphrey mostly took snaps off Brandon Carr’s plate. Smith played 58 of the 68 total defensive snaps and Carr was in for 27.

According to Pro Football Focus, Humphrey allowed just two catches for 25 yards, both to talented wideout Devante Adams. Five passes were thrown Humphrey’s way, and he knocked away one.

After the game, Head Coach John Harbaugh said it wasn’t part of the plan to have Humphrey play so many snaps.

“I just think it’s going to roll through however it does week to week,” Harbaugh said. “In my mind, we have three starters. That’s a good problem to have; that’s a luxury.”

Carr has played extremely well all season, and started Sunday’s game in Green Bay. The Packers came out hot with completions of 17 and 33 yards on their opening drive, both with Carr in coverage. The first was on an extended play where Jordy Nelson ran a crosser. The second was a bomb to the speedy Adams.

As usual, the veteran Carr kept his composure and rebounded to knock away a potential touchdown pass to Nelson on the same drive before Jimmy Smith picked off Brett Hundley in the end zone. Carr remained on the field for the Packers’ second and third drives, which both ended in turnovers, but Humphrey stepped in for much of the game after that.

Fans wondered if Humphrey had taken over as the full-time starter at that point. On Monday, Harbaugh said not to read into it.

“It’s just the way it worked out,” Harbaugh said. “They’re all going to play probably different amounts, different games, [depending on] how they’re feeling [and] what’s going on. Sometimes, it might just be happenstance.”

“We thought we could match up with their guys. I felt all three of our guys could cover those guys. … And they have really good receivers. So it’s more a statement about our guys. I’m just proud that those guys can get out there and play well.”

Getting cornerback Maurice Canady back in the mix has also allowed the Ravens to mix-and-match their coverages throughout the game, which made things more difficult for Hundley, who had a tough day in his fourth career start.

Humphrey got Hundley’s third interception of the day. Defensive tackle Willie Henry got good penetration off the snap and outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith looped on a stunt to force immediate pressure on Hundley. Humphrey, who was playing off in coverage, stepped in front of Hundley’s errant pass for his first career interception.

The only problem was Humphrey came up just short of returning it for a touchdown as well.

“I think we all just kind of built off each other,” Humphrey said. “A guy gets a sack, it seems like everybody got a sack. A guy gets an interception, everybody gets one. I think that excitement helped us pull out a big [win] today.”

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