Humphrey back to playing key role, forcing turnovers for Ravens

Photo credit: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports

OWINGS MILLS — Marlon Humphrey had the awareness to snag the football out of the air after fellow cornerback Brandon Stephens deflected a pass by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy.

That turned out to be a key play because the Ravens used the short field to score on a 1-yard touchdown run by Gus Edwards.

Humphrey also knocked down a pass that went into the hands of safety Kyle Hamilton for another interception.

They were two of five turnovers for the Ravens that helped pave the way for a 33-19 victory over San Francisco on Christmas night.

After dealing with injuries for parts of the season, Humphrey appears to be getting healthier each week and is playing a key role in the secondary.

“The biggest thing is we try to get ahead and kind of go from there,” Humphrey said. “It seems like balls kind of bounced our way, and we just have to keep playing fundamental football. That’s the biggest thing. If we can be fundamentally sound, I think we have a pretty good chance against anybody.”

Humphrey missed the first four games of the regular season with a foot injury. He then missed two more games with a calf injury before returning in Week 14 against the Rams. He was targeted eight times and allowed 92 yards over 77 snaps in that game, according to data compiled by Pro Football Focus.

When asked about those struggles, Ravens coach John Harbaugh replied: “Marlon Humphrey is the least of my concerns. He’s a great football player, and he’s very conscientious. I know he’s going to play great football for us.”

Humphrey is a proven player and usually lines up against the opponent’s best wide receiver.  Humphrey has the pedigree and was named to three Pro Bowls and has been a leader in the Ravens’ secondary since being selected in the first round (16th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft.

He is just the third defender in franchise history to register doubled-digit interceptions (13) and double-digit forced fumbles (13) throughout a Ravens career. He stands with Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis (31 interceptions and 19 forced fumbles) and safety Ed Reed (61 interceptions and 11 forced fumbles) as the only Ravens to accomplish this feat.

Humphrey (99) is set to play in his 100th career game this week against the Dolphins.

The Ravens could clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory.

“We really want to beat the Dolphins and get that No. 1 seed,” he said.

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