Ravens cornerback Maurice Canady has been activated to the 53-man roster, paving the way for even more versatility in Baltimore’s already strong secondary.
To make room on the roster, the Ravens waived wide receiver Chris Matthews, who had three catches for 25 yards, and was mostly used on special teams.
Canady was placed on injured reserve (IR) after suffering a knee injury in the first days of training camp, but it wasn’t serious enough to knock him out for the year.
The Ravens used one of their two designations to allow players on IR to return on Canady. The other was used on running back Danny Woodhead (hamstring), who is expected to return to game action after the bye.
Canady has been practicing for the past two weeks in preparation to play Sunday in Tennessee, which is the earliest he’s eligible to return.
“I just feel blessed to get the opportunity,” Canady said. “It’s been a struggle, but I’m ready to show the world what I can do.”
After Tavon Young went down with a torn ACL in organized team activities, Canady immediately stepped into his nickel spot and had three interceptions that same practice. A sixth-round pick out of Virginia in 2016, Canady has frequently shown a knack for making plays in practice.
He’s been a standout each year during summer practices, but injuries have hindered his young career. He was placed on injured reserve last year after six games due to a hamstring injury, and has missed the first half of this season.
Now is his chance, however, and he could have a role in nickel or elsewhere on Baltimore’s defense.
“I think he is a very versatile guy,” Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said. “The guy has played nickel for us, he has played corner for us, he has played safety for us.
“Once we kind of get him back in the groove, I think we can find some places where we can plug him in and move him around. Maybe even on certain calls, move certain guys to different places and play him in different places.”
The Ravens have mostly used veteran Lardarius Webb in the slot, but also mixed in undrafted rookie Jaylen Hill during the past two games now that he’s back from a hamstring injury. Canady could be used in that mix or elsewhere.
Pees talked about the ability to use different players in the secondary to get the best matchups. Certain players may match up better against bigger receiving tight ends while others may be more suited to cover smaller, quicker slot receivers, for example.
The 6-foot-1, 193-pound Canady has the tools to do a lot.
“It just helps if we have that many guys that can do that many different things,” Pees said. “Hopefully we can plug them in and match up as well as we can.”