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Ravens Cornerbacks: Averett Could Return, Harbaugh Defends Westry

Baltimore had to shuffle defensive back because of injuries.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Shortly after the Ravens beat the Chicago Bears in Week 11, Baltimore cornerback Chris Westry was still downcast in the locker room.

Chicago wide receiver Marquise Goodwin had beaten Westry on a double move and caught a 49-yard, go-ahead touchdown pass from Andy Dalton with under two minutes left. The Ravens responded on the next drive with a 3-yard scoring run by Devonta Freeman that provided the 16-13 win. 

Still, Westry was still upset that he put his team in that position even though he was left alone in one-on-one coverage on an all-out blitz.

It was the only blemish on the day for Westry, who played a season-high 56 snaps with Anthony Averett out with a hamstring injury. 

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was proud of the way Westry played and is confident that he will learn from the experience.

"He had so many good plays in the game, and there were other things," Harbaugh said. "There were little technique-things that … He’s a young player, and playing corner is all about technique – technique and talent and discipline. You’ve got to be locked in every play. It’s a tough job, and those are things he’s really going to learn from in the best kind of way, because he’s very conscientious. On that particular one, you want to play the sticks, but you want to give a little ground when the receiver is moving north on you, and then you’ve got to be ready to put a foot in the ground and break, because usually the ball comes out quick. The ball came out a little later than we would have wanted to, or it wouldn’t have been an issue, and he got a little heavy at the sticks, because he’s thinking about stopping the first down. His eyes were better than I thought. 

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"When I saw the tape, his eyes were a little better than I thought. But he lost vision late on the receiver and then [Marquise Goodwin] obviously got behind him. So, that’s what happened.”

Last season, Westry, 6-feet-4, 197 pounds, played in two games for the Cowboys, making one solo tackle, before being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury.

He signed a Reserve/Future contract with the Ravens on Jan. 18. He was physical with the wide receivers and broke up several passes throughout training camp, which ultimately led to him making the final roster.

Westry could see more action this season. 

"I just think he’s a great young man. He really works hard," Harbaugh said. "He’s very talented, very conscientious. [He] really, really wants to be good [and] was very upset – very upset – about giving up the play. I mean, there was some consoling going on – even after the game – with the win, in the locker room. But those are the moments that … In some ways you treasure them, because it’s a great learning experience, but it’s also just a great growing experience. It’s kind of a privilege, as a coach, to be a part of that a little bit – the response to events. So, he’s going to be fine.”

As for Averett, he was a late scratch for the Bears game. He could be back this week for a critical showdown with the Cleveland Browns. 

“I do not expect him to be out long. It is not a serious hamstring – quote, unquote – injury," Harbaugh said. "He just got to the game … I actually thought he would play in the game. He got to the game, went out there and tested it, and just didn’t feel like he could go.”