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Mailbag: When Will Marlon Humphrey Return?

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey looks on during pre-game warm-ups before an NFL preseason football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Baltimore.

Mink: This is a big week to see when Marlon Humphrey will be back on the field. If he's practicing Wednesday or has a full practice at any point this week, that would seemingly give him a chance to play Sunday against the Colts. If he practices at any point in the week, that would hopefully put him on track to at least come back next week versus the Browns.

Shortly after Humphrey had his foot surgery on Aug. 16, Head Coach John Harbaugh said his star cornerback's timeline was "pretty-well defined." Of course, that timeline is not public information, but it tells us that the Ravens have had a plan all along.

Baltimore just held Joe Burrow and the Bengals' dangerous weapons in check without Humphrey. While the Colts have some good young receivers, they're not quite the same established firepower as Cincinnati. While it would of course be great to get the No. 1 cornerback on the field as soon as possible, it could make sense to give Humphrey a longer runway to get his body ready. After all, he's been sidelined for more than a month.

Getting Humphrey back next week would still put him back earlier than if he had gone on injured reserve and would hopefully means he's full strength for back-to-back huge divisional games in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. But who knows? Maybe Humphrey is ready to go this week, even if that's not playing 100% of the snaps against the Colts.

Downing: Odafe Oweh played just 14 snaps in Sunday's win over the Bengals after an ankle injury forced him out of action. Harbaugh classified the injury on Monday as an ankle sprain but said that he's going to keep all injury information "close to the vest" unless it becomes a long-term injured reserve situation.

That's a positive indication for Oweh that he won't be out a substantial amount of time. Going on injured reserve would sideline him for at least four games, so if the Ravens don't place him on injured reserve, then it likely means he'll be back quicker than that. Oweh was having a strong start to the season before spraining his ankle, so the Ravens certainly want to get him back on the field as soon as possible. The Ravens practice on Wednesday to prepare for this week's game against the Colts, and the injury report will be a good indication of Oweh's status and the other players on the roster nursing short-term injuries.

Mink: Much of this has to do with whether Anthony Richardson (concussion protocol) suits up this week. The fourth-overall pick has gotten off to a hot start with three rushing touchdowns in his first two games and is throwing the ball well in a unique offensive scheme tailored to his skillset.

If Richardson plays, I can't wait to see how he handles the Ravens' inside linebacker duo of Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen, who will make life tough on running quarterbacks. If Richardson doesn't play, I'll point to the Ravens' offensive line as a key matchup across the board. The Colts' defensive line of DeForest Buckner, Grover Stewart, and Kwity Paye is tough.

Downing: The Patriots came up with some trickery on their field goal block against the Dolphins on Sunday. (Here’s the video if you haven't seen it already). The NFL is a copycat league, so it wouldn't surprise me if the Ravens and other teams looked into this motion play to give themselves an advantage at getting to the kicker.

But NFL teams are also very good at adjusting to these types of plays, so I'm sure that Special Teams Coordinator Chris Horton is considering the implications of that play both from the standpoint of trying it and defending it. The Ravens have historically been among the best special teams units in the league under Harbaugh, so they're always looking for ways to innovate. If they think this block play can give them an advantage, they'll do it. But I don't expect to see this play as the new craze taking over the NFL on field-goal attempts in future weeks.

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