The Ravens have designated tight end Nick Boyle for a return to practice, allowing him to take the field Wednesday.
One of the NFL's top blocking tight ends and a key to Baltimore's offense, Boyle has not played this season after suffering a major knee injury on Nov. 15 last year in New England. Boyle also had a clean-up procedure done during the summer, which delayed his return to the field.
Boyle originally returned to practice Sept. 1 and was also on the field Sept. 6, but the decision was made last month to put Boyle on short-term injured reserve, giving him more time to recover. Boyle will have a 21-day window starting Wednesday to practice with the team before he is required to be activated to the 53-man roster.
"We'll just have to see how he does in practice, but he seems strong," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He's been rehabbing out here really strong with the training staff and with the strength staff. I've seen him out here working for, really, months. It'll be a good test today to see how it feels in a football practice, even if it's just the individual period. So, we'll see what he can do out here today and probably have more for you going forward."
Boyle is a devastating blocker who can be moved across formations to give the Ravens an advantage at the point of attack. Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman loves using multiple tight end sets, and Boyle has improved as a receiver every year since joining the Ravens as a fifth-round pick in 2015. During his last full season in 2019, Boyle had a career-high 31 catches for 321 yards and two touchdowns.
"I think everybody on the team knows how much he wants to be out here playing," fellow tight end Mark Andrews said. "This means so much to him, playing here and playing with his guys – it means a lot. So, for him to be able to be getting healthy and eventually coming out, that's the type of guy we need."