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Sammy Watkins Ruled out for Ravens vs. Chargers with Hamstring Injury

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2021

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Sammy Watkins rushes the ball in the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Sammy Watkins won't play Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers with a hamstring injury, head coach John Harbaugh told reporters on Friday. 

The 28-year-old Watkins joined Baltimore as a free agent during the offseason, and in his first season with the Ravens, he has registered 18 catches for 292 yards and no touchdowns. 

Watkins is playing for his fourth team in eight NFL seasons after stints with the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs.

While Watkins has enjoyed some moments of brilliance during his career, he has often been held back by injuries, missing at least one game in six of seven seasons entering 2021 and three or more games on five occasions.

Watkins has not played a 16-game slate since his rookie year with the Bills in 2014, and while he missed three games the following season, he enjoyed the most productive year of his career with 60 receptions for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns.

Since that season, Watkins has not had more than 52 catches or 673 yards in a season, and a lack of durability is a big reason why.

Still, the wideout-needy Ravens took a chance by signing him, perhaps in hopes that he could recapture some of the magic he has displayed at times when healthy.

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Just two seasons ago during Kansas City's run to a Super Bowl victory, Watkins piled up 14 receptions for 288 yards and one touchdown in three playoff games, playing a major role in the Chiefs' championship triumph.

In signing Watkins, the Ravens aimed to give quarterback Lamar Jackson an experienced and explosive weapon in the passing game after doing little to surround him with quality pass-catchers previously.

If Watkins is forced to miss some action, Marquise "Hollywood" Brown will remain the No. 1 receiver with rookie first-round pick Rashod Bateman, rookie fourth-round pick Tylan Wallace and Devin Duvernay likely being asked to step up as well.

Also, tight end Mark Andrews will take on an even bigger role, and the running game spearheaded by Ty'Son Williams and Latavius Murray will take center stage.

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