The Ravens aren't expected to waste any time getting Sammy Watkins involved in the offense.
Head Coach John Harbaugh liked what he saw from Watkins in practice this week, after he was claimed off waivers following his release from the Green Bay Packers. Watkins was with the Ravens last season, so there's obviously some carryover to this season with the scheme and playbook. Harbaugh indicated Watkins will likely play Week 16 against the Falcons.
"We're probably going to play him," Harbaugh said. "He looks great. There was some familiarity with the offense, and I'm really, really happy and excited to have him."
Watkins is already in game shape and has a history of playing well in key games.
"Definitely have to do a lot of catching up on certain situations in the game and certain packages," Watkins said. "I'm a vet. I've been there before to where I had to pick up on stuff pretty quick. I'll get in the film room with coaches and try to catch up as fast as I can. Whatever they ask me to do, whether I'm playing or not, I should be prepared."
Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman, who also coached Watkins in Buffalo, feels thankful to be reunited with a player who has a proven track record in his offense.
"It's not like we're getting somebody that's never been here," Roman said. "That's huge. To get a quality player like him this time of year – it's almost unheard of."
Brandon Stephens Ready to Fill Void in Place of Marcus Peters
With Marcus Peters (calf) ruled out against the Falcons, Brandon Stephens is likely to assume most of the snaps at cornerback opposite Marlon Humphrey. The Falcons have not been a prolific passing team this season, but are more likely to test Stephens than Humphrey. Stephens said he will be ready.
"I feel good on an island, the coaches trust me out there," Stephens said. "I've just got to go out there and prove myself and prove to everybody else that I can strap receivers up and help this team win.
"Obviously, we don't want anybody hurt. But it's always next man up mentality. I've just got to pick up where 'MP' left off and help this team win, because that's all that matters."
Stephens is only in his second season but has a veteran's mentality.
"The best thing that I can say about Brandon is he goes out there and competes," Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald said. "There are some situations where he'll win some, lose some, but the guy is out there, and he's battling, and he knows what to do, he's very conscientious. But his role is going to increase now with 'MP' going down, so we expect him to go out there and not miss a beat."
Devin Duvernay Has Broken Fifth Metatarsal
Harbaugh confirmed that wide receiver Devin Duvernay suffered a broken foot during practice Tuesday, an injury that has landed him on injured reserve.
Harbaugh said Duvernay suffered the injury while running routes on air.
"[It was] out of the blue," Harbaugh said. "He felt something. We didn't know how serious is was or wasn't until later, and they got the X-rays back and it was just a broken fifth metatarsal. So, it is what it is. I think it's the same one that the running back in Tennessee (Derrick Henry) had last year."
Harbaugh said it was possible Duvernay could return if the Ravens play into February.
"I actually was told that he'd be back for the Super Bowl, so I'm good with that," Harbaugh said.
Tyler Linderbaum Isn't Sweating Pro Bowl Snub
Ravens rookie center Tyler Linderbaum is being mentioned as a Pro Bowl snub after not making the AFC team. However, Linderbaum said he wasn't disappointed.
"I'm still a rookie. The big thing for me is consistency," Linderbaum said. "I'll continue to work on that. If we're winning games, all those accolades will come."
Linderbaum played in his fair share of cold weather games at Iowa, and isn't worried about the frigid conditions being forecast for Saturday. Linderbaum doesn't wear a glove on his right hand when snapping, and does not plan to wear one against the Falcons.
"Cold weather, I usually have no problem," Linderbaum said. "When I go to the bench I have hand warmers, stuff to keep it warm."