BALTIMORE — Following the Ravens’ 26-13 preseason win over the Green Bay Packers, head coach John Harbaugh delivered some difficult news.
“Tavon [Young] has a more serious issue than we thought. He has a neck issue,” he said. “That’s a disc issue. That’s a serious injury. He could be out for the remainder of the season. We will know soon, but it doesn’t look good for Tavon.”
Young practiced Saturday and Sunday, but did not participate on Monday or Tuesday.
The fourth-year nickel cornerback signed a three-year contract extension in February worth $25.8 million with $13 million guaranteed. The Ravens inked Young to the lucrative deal with a year remaining on his rookie contract, a sign of the organization’s belief in him. The signing was Eric DeCosta’s first as general manager.
Harbaugh indicated surgery was likely for Young, which would end his season before it begins.
“There is an outside chance that you opt to try to see if it will heal, but we’re not recommending that right now, in his best interest. That’s always the first consideration, is his long-term well-being,” Harbaugh said. “If he gets the procedure done – I don’t want to speak too early – but if he gets it done, he’ll be fine and good to go. It’s probably the best thing to do.”
Young has dealt with multiple injuries already in his young career. He missed all of 2017 with an ACL tear and a hernia caused him to sit out of Baltimore’s playoff loss to the Los Angeles Chargers last season.
Young bounced back from his knee injury in a big way last year, emerging as one of the NFL’s top nickel cornerbacks. He intercepted one pass, returned two fumbles for touchdowns and made 37 tackles. The strong campaign made him one of the league’s highest-paid players at his position.
In his absence, Cyrus Jones started in the slot Thursday against the Packers. Jones has had a strong preseason, returning an interception for a touchdown a week ago in the opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“He has looked good. That’s the thing that makes us feel good about it. Cyrus has looked good, and we have other guys we work in there,” Harbaugh said of the nickel spot “All of our corners end up – not all of them, but most of them play nickel, except the two starters. Brandon Carr plays the nickel quite a bit. We move safeties down in there quite a bit, with different personnel groups. We would rather have Tavon than not have him, but we are blessed at that position with some depth.”
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