Ravens’ Michael Pierce makes decision on end-of-season surgery

Raven Michael Pierce

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Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce takes the field in 2019.

Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce has decided to have late-season surgery for a bicep tear he suffered in Week 3 against the New England Patriots, according to videos posted to his Instagram Story Thursday morning.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported first the extent of the injury on Wednesday, which was confirmed by Ravens head coach John Harbaugh during a press conference after training.

“He tore his biceps,” Harbaugh said. “He’s making a decision now whether he wants it fixed, which would put him out for the season, or play with it and have surgery after the season.”

The six-year veteran has chosen the first option, ending his 2022 season early but putting it on track to fully retire by the start of next season, the second year of the three-year contract he signed with the Ravens in March recover .


Jones, Washington, to ascend

Pierce’s injury is a significant loss to the Baltimore defense. Not just his 86.9 defensive grade by Pro Football Focus Lead the team, it is too the sixth-best grade among NFL centerbacks.

The Ravens will fill the 345-pound hole in the middle of their defensive line with a few different players, starting with rookie defensive tackle Travis Jones.

The third-round pick showed his potential preseason but missed the Ravens’ first two games with a hyperextended knee. Jones made his NFL debut in Week 3 and played well even if it didn’t show up on the box score.

Harbaugh seemed pleased with the performance of his rookie tackle, said on Monday:

I thought he played well. Travis will be a very influential player. It was his first outing out there and he was playing hard. He will learn a lot in the process. He played well enough the first time… but of course we have high expectations of him and he’s only going to get better from here.

But Jones is still a rookie, and despite his potential to be a full defensive tackle who can darn the barrel and shove the bag, the Ravens can’t count on him to fully replace Pierce right away.

Third-year defenseman Broderick Washington, who already plays a key role in the Ravens’ pass-rush rotation, will also be part of the equation. In weeks 1 and 2, Washington played mostly on passing downs, with only 14 of his 69 snaps coming against the run. per PFF. He surpassed that number in Week 3 alone with 16 run defense snaps with mixed results: 5 tackles, 3 run stops, and a 46.7 grade.

The Ravens are allowing opposing rushers 5.0 yards per carry this season, the sixth-highest of any NFL team in Week 3. That’s out of character for Baltimore, which typically ranks among the top five running defenders in the league each year. Pierce’s absence won’t make it any easier, so players like Jones and Washington need to step up quickly.


Ravens could make supplement

With Pierce out for the season, he will be placed on injured reserve sometime this week, which will open up another active roster spot in Baltimore.

The Ravens won’t be in a hurry to fill it as they play out some of their other injury situations in the coming weeks, but they have options.

Practice team defensive tackles Isaiah Mack and Rayshad Nichols both played well in the preseason, particularly as disruptors against the pass.

Both players – most likely Mack, who also played for the Ravens in 2021 – are likely to receive some game day activations from the practice team in the next few games. If either player can pull off their solid preseason play against tougher regular-season competition, they could earn a spot in Baltimore’s regular defensive line rotation.

https://heavy.com/sports/baltimore-ravens/ravens-michael-pierce-decision-on-surgery/ Ravens’ Michael Pierce makes decision on end-of-season surgery

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