Ravens TE Ben­jamin Wat­son tears Achilles, out for sea­son

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL SPORTS - sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com By SEAN GRO­GAN Fol­low Sean Gro­gan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

BAL­TI­MORE — The first play of Satur­day’s pre­sea­son game was a hor­rific one for the Bal­ti­more Ravens.

Tight end Ben­jamin Wat­son suf­fered a torn Achilles ten­don on the first play from scrim­mage and will miss the up­com­ing sea­son.

Wat­son stum­bled and fell to the grass with­out any con­tact early in his route. He didn’t put any weight on the injured right leg as he was helped off the field by a pair of trainers. The Ravens an­nounced the di­ag­no­sis within min­utes of the in­jury occurring.“That’s just un­for­tu­nate for him,” head coach John Har­baugh said. “That was the first play of the game – that can hap­pen in any prac­tice at any time.”

Wat­son, 35, quickly es­tab­lished him­self as the leader of Bal­ti­more’s young tight end unit. He ap­peared to be be­com­ing one of quar­ter­back Joe Flacco’s fa­vorite tar­gets on the prac­tice field. The duo only got to play a sin­gle snap to­gether as Flacco sat the Ravens first two pre­sea­son games.“He’s been a great team­mate and I think he was really de­vel­op­ing into a weapon for us,” Flacco said. “I was really ex­cited about get­ting to play with him this year. That’s go­ing to be really tough on us. You can imag­ine how tough it is for him right now, what he’s prob­a­bly go­ing through with his fam­ily. I just wish him the best and I’m def­i­nitely pretty dis­ap­pointed about what hap­pened.”

Wat­son, a 13-year NFL vet­eran, has an­other year re­main­ing on his con­tract, but will have to de­cide whether or not to re­turn from such a dev­as­tat­ing in­jury. Vet­er­ans Steve Smith Sr. and Ter­rell Suggs each suf­fered the same in­jury last sea­son for the Ravens and chose to make a come­back.

“It’s a hor­ri­ble feel­ing,” said Suggs, who played Satur­day for the first time since suf­fer­ing the in­jury in the open­ing week of last sea­son. “When you work hard all off­sea­son and you pre­pare to have a really good year, to lose it on an in­jury, es­pe­cially an in­jury like that, it’s heart break­ing. But it’s not the end of the world. You just start with the next day, you just kind of take your time and you stack the good days.”

The tight end po­si­tion ap­peared to be among Bal­ti­more’s deep­est units be­fore the sea­son, but it has been rid­dled with in­jury and sus­pen­sions. Den­nis Pitta (fin­ger) and Maxx Wil­liams (undis­closed) were not in uni­form against the Detroit Li­ons Satur­day and have both missed ex­tended time. Dar­ren Waller and Nick Boyle will be­gin the sea­son by serv­ing four and 10 game sus­pen­sions, re­spec­tively, for vi­o­lat­ing the league’s pol­icy on per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing sub­stances. Starter Crock­ett Gill­more and Daniel Brown, who spent most of last sea­son on the prac­tice squad, were the only tight ends el­i­gi­ble to play Week 1 in uni­form Satur­day night.

The Ravens de­feated the Li­ons 30-9 for their third win of the pre­sea­son.


Tight end Ben­jamin Wat­son tore his Achilles ten­don on the first play of Bal­ti­more’s pre­sea­son game with the Detroit Li­ons. He will miss the up­com­ing sea­son.

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