Gus Edwards Down with ACL…Now What for the Ravens’ Backfield?
My instant reaction to all this, and we’ll discuss more on the Video Q&A tonight…
We can speculate all we want on what’s causing the Ravens’ RB ACL issues this preseason, but we won’t figure it out today and it doesn’t matter for Fantasy Football right this second. The question at hand is: What do we do for Fantasy with Gus down?
What the Ravens will do for Week 1…
The Ravens have no time to mess around. Ty’Son Williams will start and play the majority of the game…he’s the only one who knows the playbook, etc. Williams becomes an RB1 threat for Week 1 against LV.
Le’Veon Bell will be activated but has little idea what’s going on and wasn’t raised in the spread offense, so it’s an utterly stupid signing by the Ravens given the current circumstances. But he’s alive with two working ACLs, so he’ll be active. If you snatched Bell – now trade him as hot as you can before Sunday kickoff.
Ty’Son will be the heavy lead, but you also have to figure Lamar Jackson is going to now just run wild with a lot of designed runs (and he’ll be at an elevated risk of injury himself then).
*Deep-deep-deep SuperFlex roster leagues might want to explore Tyler Huntley as a sit and watch. Cam Newton could be heading here to bump that idea…but this is all unimportant to the issue at hand.
What the Ravens will do to add more RBs…
There’s no way the Ravens go all season with Ty’Son Williams as the lone/lead, nor can they count on dying/dead Le’Veon Bell having never played in a modern spread offense. The Ravens will go seek some cheap backs to try and survive this crisis.
Immediately, they will probably sign Latavius Murray or Devonta Freeman, or similar. They need live, professional bodies for this very moment. If it were going to be Todd Gurley, it would’ve happened before…you’d think.
My guess is that they pass on signing any veteran and just try and ride the crisis through Week 1. If they do sign some vet, I’d bet it’s Latavius Murray.
But the Ravens will also look for a long-term solution. The Texans are giving away their team, and HC David Culley is a friend of the Ravens staff. You think it might mean David Johnson is traded to the Ravens, and that’s on the board for sure…but how about this angle: the Texans give Mark Ingram to the Ravens for cheap because Ingram knows the system/playbook/team? I predict Ingram to BAL over DJ…but DJ is very possible.
They should sign younger guys they can claim to build up in the shadows for depth/the next crisis. My loose guess/predictions on who that might be:
1) Jaylen Samuels – from their hated rival, which would be sweet for both parties.
2) D’Onta Foreman or Qadree Ollison or Caleb Huntley – they’re all Gus-like.
If I were the Ravens GM, I’d go claim Samuels…and/or Patrick Taylor from Green Bay…but NFL teams don’t watch/study/understand anything about preseason tape. I’ve been in this game too long to think otherwise.
Just know – if you chase Ty’Son heavy for FF, you’re going to have a winner for 1-2 weeks…maybe, and then other RBs are going to factor in as the Ravens add them. There’s no way Baltimore just goes full scale Ty’Son Williams all 18 weeks, but they will have to go heavy with him right away and he may be a factor all year for sure…just be careful assuming he has it all for the next 18 weeks.
…also, Ty’Son should wear double knee braces preemptively…because ‘he’s next’…the way things are going in Baltimore.