Tavon Young will further boost a talented Ravens secondary

Todd Karpovich

The Ravens have high expectations for cornerback Tavon Young, underscored by his three-year, $25.8 million contract extension last year.

Young, however, missed the entire 2019 season because of a neck injury.

The Ravens expect Young to return to the lineup and he'll boost an already talented secondary that includes three players that made the Pro Bowl last season — cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, along with safety Earl Thomas. 

"He says he’s healthy. He’s ready to go," defensive coordinator Don Martindale said. "Tavon is ready to go, and if he tells me he’s ready to go, I believe in him 100 percent. And he’ll be ready to go, so I’m excited about that.”

The Ravens selected Young in the fourth round of the 2016 draft from Temple and he appeared in all 16 games, including 11 starts, as a rookie. He missed the following season with a torn ACL.

Young bounced back in 2018, appearing in 15 games despite being hampered by a groin injury. He finished with 34 tackles, an interception and two fumble returns for touchdowns. Young was one of four NFL players to score multiple defensive touchdowns that season. 

After signing the extension in February that made him the highest-paid slot cornerback at the time, Young was diagnosed with the neck injury during training camp. He weighed his options before being shut down for the season.

With Young back in the lineup, the Ravens can keep Humphrey and Peters on the outside where they both thrive. Young will also give Martindale some flexibility to move players around, such as allowing veteran cornerback Jimmy Smith to spend some time at safety. 

"The best 11 will play, but it could be a different set of 11 for every package and matchup that we want to do, with whatever situation it is," Martindale said. 

Young will certainly make his case for being included in that "best 11."