Ravens fans received bad news on Wednesday, as Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey will undergo foot surgery, head coach John Harbaugh confirmed. The Ravens hope that Humphrey can return to the team in a little over a month, per NFL Media.
To help mask the loss of Humphrey, the Ravens are signing veteran cornerback Ronald Darby to a one-year deal with $3.2 million, via NFL Media. A nine-year veteran, Darby won a Super Bowl as a starter on the Eagles defense in 2017. The 29-year-old spent the last two seasons with the Denver Broncos. His 2022 season was cut short after just five games after he tore his ACL.
Harbaugh told reporters that Humphrey has been dealing with a lingering foot issue and that doctors decided that it was best to address it now. Harbaugh did not offer a timetable regarding Humphrey's return.
Baltimore opens with a home game against the Houston Texans and rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. The Ravens will then head to Cincinnati to face Joe Burrow and the defending two-time AFC North division champion Bengals in Week 2. Given the Ravens' timeline, the hope is that Humphrey would be back for either the Bengals game or the team's Week 3 showdown with the Colts and their rookie quarterback, Anthony Richardson.
The loss of Humphrey is significant. The 27-year-old former first-round pick has been named to the Pro Bowl in three of the past four years. He was named to his third Pro Bowl last season after recording three interceptions (matching his career high), three sacks, 71 tackles, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in 17 games.
Brandon Stephens is currently slated as Humphrey's primary backup. A 2021 third-round pick, Stephens received 15 starts during his first two seasons in Baltimore. He received four starts last season and compiled 31 tackles, seven pass breakups and half a sack.
Along with Darby, the cornerback room also includes Rock Ya-Sin (the team's other starting corner) and Arthur Maulet, Baltimore's starting nickleback who played the last two seasons in Pittsburgh. Their primary backups are Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams, respectively. A rookie last season, Armour-Davis played in four games with one start in 2022. A fellow rookie last season, Williams appeared in 14 games during his first season in Baltimore.