Fourth-round pick Isaiah Likely has sparkled since being drafted, adding another weapon to Baltimore's offense as a tight end with soft hands and run-after-catch ability. Likely is flashing tight end/wide receiver hybrid traits, lining up in the slot and multiple other spots.
Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman has always liked using his tight ends, and he's having even more fun thinking of ways to create mismatches for Likely and All-Pro Mark Andrews by playing them together in a variety of formations.
"It goes without saying that the more guys you have that have that kind of flexibility, the more flexible you can get," Roman said. "I think there's definitely some creative, neat things we can do this year as far as personnel packaging.[period]
"We really like where Isaiah's at. From the moment he got here you could tell he belonged, it wasn't too big for him. … There's a really high volume of things that a tight end in this offense has to understand. He's progressing nicely through it, he's not blinking. I think we're going to have some good options there."
Having two tight ends as athletic Andrews and Likely gives the Ravens an advantage that can create major matchup problems for opposing defenses. The Ravens could go heavy this season on multiple tight end formations, with Andrews and Likely helping each other get open.
"There are personnel groups that you kind of imagine that you can put on the field," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "I don't think it's any kind of a stretch to say that they'll line up outside. I think they'll be out there running slants, and fades, and even deeper routes. I'm excited. I can't wait to see what comes out of the laboratory. They're going to be weapons for us. It's going to be fun."
Demarcus Robinson's Flexibility Is an Asset
Demarcus Robinson, who joined practice this week after being signed, has a solid body of NFL work with 145 catches for 1,679 yards and 14 touchdowns during five seasons with the Chiefs. He was deployed in variety of ways, and Roman has similar designs for Robinson with the Ravens.
"I think he can play anywhere on the field, inside and out," Roman said. "He's done that in the past, we're very familiar with him as far as competing against him. I think he's got a really good body of work, a track record. Really, there's no limitation of what he can do."
Harbaugh said he expected Robinson to play in Saturday's preseason finale, and Roman said the new wide receiver could make more than just a cameo appearance.
"Since the moment we met him out in Arizona he has been on it in terms of being a professional," Roman said. "I think you're going to see that a little bit quicker than you might anticipate normally.
Ja'Wuan James Gaining Comfort Level at Left Tackle
Ja'Wuan James has been almost exclusively a right tackle in the NFL, but he's been working a lot at left tackle since training camp began.
All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley has not returned to practice yet following his most recent ankle surgery, and if Stanley's not ready for Week 1, James would likely get the start at left tackle. Roman said James' comfort level on the left side is increasing by leaps and bounds.
"I feel like he's become pretty ambidextrous," Roman said. "He's really made strides. There's a couple of little tweaks that he's got to make, we've got to make, he understands that. But that's going to come. We feel really good about him."
Giants Claim Jaylon Moore Off Waivers
After being released by the Ravens on Tuesday, Jaylon Moore has reportedly found a landing spot quickly.
The 25-year-old wide receiver was claimed off waivers by the Giants on Wednesday, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
Moore spent the past two seasons on Baltimore's practice squad after going undrafted in 2020. He had a strong start to training camp and caught two passes for 15 yards during the preseason. Giants wide receiver Collin Johnson is out for the season after suffering a torn Achilles in Wednesday's practice, prompting the Giants to add Moore.