Ravens sign veteran TE Luke Willson to practice squad
The Baltimore Ravens brought in some veteran reinforcements at the tight end position on Tuesday after their offense was dealt a serious blow in their 23-17 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Tight end Nick Boyle was lost for the remainder of the season with a major knee injury. He got carted off the field in the third quarter after his leg bent awkwardly while getting tackled low making his only catch of the game for four yards.
In comes eight-year veteran Luke Willson who will be joining the team via the practice squad after being brought in for a workout and clearing COVID-19 protocols.
The 30-year old has spent all but one year of his career with the Seattle Seahawks after being originally drafted by the team as a fifth-round pick out of Rice in 2013. His lone season away from the Emerald City came in 2018 when he appeared in 14 games with the Detroit Lions.
Willson helped Seattle win their first Superbowl title in franchise history as a rookie and has recorded 110 catches for 1,295 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns during his career.
In the five games he played in with the Seahawks this season before being released on Nov.3, he predominately played special teams and didn’t record a catch on offense.
With Boyle officially being placed on injured reserve, it leaves 2019 Pro Bowler Mark Andrews as the only true tight end on the active roster.
The Ravens have played Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard at tight end at times this season and have tight ends Sean Culkin and Xavier Gamble on the practice squad as well.
Willson instantly becomes the Ravens’ most experienced player at the position on their active or practice squad roster. Like Boyle, he isn’t well known for his underrated prowess as a pass-catcher but is renowned for his ability as a strong blocker in the run game which is just what they need after losing their blocking specialist at the position.
In other roster move news, the Ravens are placing cornerback Terrell Bonds on injured reserve as well with a knee injury he suffered on Sunday, but thankfully it isn’t season-ending and “will probably be a couple of weeks,” said Head Coach John Harbaugh on Monday.
Baltimore also promoted rookie safety Geno Stone to the active 53-man roster. The seventh-round pick out of Iowa was waived by the team earlier this season but brought back on the practice squad after clearing waivers.
He has been active for the team’s last two games and has logged 38 total snaps on special teams to just two on defense. Since he was called up from the practice twice in the last two weeks, he was no longer eligible to return to it automatically under the augmented 2020 rules.