Ravens TE Benjamin Watson tears Achilles, out for season
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.