Two of Baltimore’s top three cornerbacks – Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb – are coming off ACL injuries. Washington is very optimistic about his health, saying his knee “is ready to play”. The sixth-year pro says he worked out at full speed over the summer with fellow corners Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Mike Jenkins. "Man, I plan on being full go," Washington chimed, according to the Baltimore Sun. "But of course, we're going to let the docs, [trainer] Bill T [Bill Tessendorf] and Coach Harbs [John Harbaugh] make the final decision."
Webb, a very intriguing third-round pick a year ago, is hopeful but less certain about his status. “I don’t know if I’m going to be on PUP or not. Hopefully, I’ll be playing. So I guess we’ll see tomorrow,” he said. He offered few details.
It stands to reason that Washington would be ahead of Webb in recovery. Washington tore his ACL in October; Webb tore his in December. Both players’ greatest asset is quickness, so there is no guarantee that they’ll be as effective in 2010 as they were in 2009.
The Ravens have always been a little less dependent on having stellar cornerback play than most defenses, though that could be the Ed Reed factor. Reed, however, is expected to miss the first six weeks of the season recovering from hip surgery. With Ken Hamlin filling in at centerfield, quarterbacks should be less reluctant to attack this defense deep. The Ravens signed veterans Walt Harris and Travis Fisher as insurance at cornerback, though if Washington and/or Webb is unavailable, coaches would likely turn to incumbent dime back Chris Carr first.
-- Andy Benoit
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.