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Getty Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Sammy Watkins runs with the ball during Monday's game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Sammy Watkins missed practice today after suffering a hamstring injury during Monday night’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, according to the Ravens’ official injury report.

The veteran wideout had been a steady target for quarterback Lamar Jackson this season, racking up 257 yards on 16 receptions in the Ravens’ first four games. Watkins already had two catches for 35 yards on Monday night before he exited the game in the second quarter.

Injuries have historically been an issue for the former Clemson Tiger, who has only played 16 games in a season once in his career, during his rookie year.

Head coach John Harbaugh declined to offer a timetable for the veteran receiver’s return after today’s walkthrough practice, telling media, “We’ll just see how long it takes.”

While the Ravens’ passing game seemed to operate just fine without Watkins on Monday night with second-year receivers Devin Duvernay and James Proche filling in, Jackson will still want his most experienced pass-catcher back on the field as soon as possible.

Watkins Predicted Comeback Win

The Ravens announced that Watkins was questionable to return after his injury, but his absence from the field didn’t keep him from cheering on his team.

In fact, Watkins tweeted a prediction that the Ravens would come back and win the game while receiving treatment for his injury in the locker room.

ESPN’s Jamison Hensley noted that Watkins’ tweet came with about three minutes remaining in the third quarter while the Ravens were still down by 19 points.

Watkins’ faith was rewarded, as Lamar Jackson led the Ravens’ offense to the end zone on four straight possessions to secure a 31-25 victory in overtime.

Ravens Move Rookie Guard to IR

Ravens placed rookie left guard Ben Cleveland on the short-term injured reserve list after he was carted off the field on Monday night, the team announced yesterday on Twitter.

He thanked fans for their well wishes after “positive news from the doctors” on Tuesday afternoon.

To every one who tweeted, texted, called or prayed for me last night, thank you. It means the world to know that #theflock stands behind their players the way they do! Positive news from the doctors today so we’ll be back soon and better than ever! #GoRavens

— Big Country (@BenCleveland74) October 12, 2021

Cleveland was ruled out shortly after suffering a knee injury in the second quarter of the Ravens’ primetime victory over the Colts. Despite being in obvious pain from the injury, the former Georgia Bulldog still waved to fans at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore as he left the field on an injury cart.

The injury brings a second halt to Cleveland’s rookie season after he sustained a concussion during training camp in August, which held him out for all three of the Ravens’ preseason games.

He was even a healthy scratch for Baltimore’s regular season opener against the Las Vegas Raiders, but a Week 1 injury to starting left guard Tyre Phillips brought Cleveland into the fold in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Cleveland played between 40% and 50% of the Ravens’ offensive snaps at left guard for the next three weeks, splitting the position with Ben Powers.

The hulking lineman was only able to play four snaps before he went down against the Colts. He’s eligible to come off the injured reserve list in three weeks, but the Ravens’ Week 8 bye will push his return to the team’s November 7 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.

Jaylon Ferguson Activated from COVID-19 List

The Ravens activated Jaylon Ferguson from the COVID-19 list today, per the NFL’s official transaction report. He missed the team’s last three games due to a positive test on September 24 that briefly sidelined Justin Houston, Brandon Williams and Justin Madubuike as close contacts.

Only Ferguson missed more than one game though, as his teammates returned to action against the Denver Broncos on October 3.

Though Ferguson, the NCAA FBS career sack leader, has not lived up to his billing as a pass rusher in the pros, he’s proven to be a capable run defender on the edge in Baltimore. Though he only played 11 defensive snaps in his two games this season, injuries and the Ravens’ weak run-defense in recent weeks may give the former Louisiana Tech Gator more playing time this Sunday against the Lost Angeles Chargers.

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Cowboys Could Trade Key Playmaker, Says Insider

Getty Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

The Dallas Cowboys have had a lot of early season success but that may not prevent the team from making a move by the NFL trade deadline on November 2. ESPN’s Todd Archer labeled wide receiver Michael Gallup as the most likely Cowboys player to be traded by the deadline, potentially to bolster the team’s secondary.

“The Cowboys wouldn’t want to do this, but Gallup has not played since the opener because of a calf injury and is in the final year of his contract,” Archer detailed. “Would the Cowboys be able to swing a deal for an immediate need (cornerback, defensive tackle) or a potential draft pick?

“Gallup is a big-play threat and a great fit with Dak Prescott in the passing game, but Cedric Wilson has filled in nicely as the No. 3 receiver behind Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. Of course, Wilson is set to be a free agent as well. Given the talent in the group, the Cowboys might be able to get something in return, but they wouldn’t want to walk away from Gallup.”

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Gallup Has Been Sidelined Since Week 1 With a Calf Injury

Gallup faces an uncertain future with the Cowboys as the receiver is set to hit free agency after the season. Unfortunately for Gallup, the Cowboys offense has continued to thrive in his absence as the receiver has not played since sustaining a calf injury against the Buccaneers in Week 1.

Cedrick Wilson has been one of the wideouts who has stepped up in Gallup’s absence. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy indicated Gallup has a good chance to return to the field in Week 8 after the team’s bye.

“I would say Michael’s [Gallup] the closest of the three [to returning],” McCarthy explained during an October 18 press conference. “I’m hopeful when we come back from the bye week that we can start him an individual [drills] like we did with the three last week.”

The Cowboys May Be Forced to Choose Between Gallup & Cooper After 2021

The Cowboys may be forced to choose between keeping Gallup or Amari Cooper moving forward. Cooper still has three seasons remaining on his five-year, $100 million deal, but the Cowboys have a potential out in his contract this coming offseason. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on August 13 that there is a growing concern that the Cowboys will have to part with one of their receivers.

“The money crunch between Cooper and Gallup is real, and a calculation Dallas will continue to consider internally,” Fowler detailed. “Gallup is a 2022 free agent, and Cooper is owed $20 million, with a $22 million cap hit and $6 million in dead money. They’d love to keep both, but that might not be possible.”

With the emergence of CeeDee Lamb, the Cowboys have an embarrassment of riches at wide receiver which could prompt the team to make a difficult decision. If the Cowboys are leaning towards not re-signing Gallup, we could see the receiver dealt by the November 2nd deadline.

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