The Ravens have placed wide receiver Devin Duvernay on injured reserve, and brought back veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins, claiming him off waivers after he was released by the Green Bay Packers Monday.
Duvernay suffered a foot injury early in Tuesday's practice and limped off the field. It's reportedly a potentially "significant" injury, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Duvernay caught 37 passes for 407 yards and three touchdowns this season. He also rushed 12 times for 84 yards and a touchdown. Duvernay also serves as the Ravens' kickoff and punt returner, a role that earned him a place in the Pro Bowl last season.
After a hot start to the year with three touchdowns in his first three games, Duvernay hasn't posted more than 50 receiving yards since Week 6. Still, he's been a key piece in the Ravens' offense, and started 13 of 14 games. With Duvernay out, the Ravens may need Watkins to immediately step into a significant role
Watkins, 29, caught 27 passes for 394 yards and one touchdown last season in Baltimore. Injuries limited him to just 13 games, as they have been an issue for the former first-round pick throughout his career.
But when Watkins played, he made some clutch plays for the Ravens last year. He posted 96 receiving yards and had a late 49-yard catch in his debut in Vegas. He made a 36-yard grab that set up Justin Tucker's game-winning, record-setting 66-yard field goal in Detroit. Watkins had a 29-yard grab that set up the game-winning touchdown in Chicago. He also had a 6-yard touchdown in Pittsburgh with 12 seconds left, but the Ravens' two-point conversion to win failed.
He didn't make a catch over the Ravens' final five games down the stretch as other receivers got more opportunities, but Watkins now enters a situation where Baltimore may need him to step up.
Watkins signed with the Packers this offseason and played in nine games (three starts), making 13 catches for 206 yards. The emergence of rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, along with leading receiver Allen Lazard and veteran Randall Cobb, meant little action for Watkins and ultimately his release.
The Ravens are looking to improve a passing attack that has struggled in recent weeks. Watkins has familiarity with the Ravens' offense and could be called upon to make some critical plays down the stretch and potentially in the playoffs.