Ravens special teams could get boost from Duvernay’s return

OWINGS MILLS — Ravens Pro Bowl returner Devin Duvernay will likely be available to play on Saturday against the Houston Texans in an AFC divisional playoff game, coach John Harbaugh confirmed Thursday.

Duvernay missed the final four regular-season games with a back injury, and Tylan Wallace played effectively in his absence. However, Wallace has landed on the injury report with a knee injury, so Duvernay’s return is timely for the Ravens.

Special teams coordinator Chris Horton confirmed that Duvernay will have the starting job on Saturday.

“It’s Duvernay’s] job before he got hurt. It’s one of those things,” Horton said. “We have guys that we can throw back there. If the weather’s bad [and] there’s an opportunity, you possibly could see two guys back there. Just given those responsibilities and given those options that we do have, I think it’s good for us to put our Pro Bowl player back there.”

Duvernay, a two-time Pro Bowl returner, ranked 10th in the NFL, averaging 12.6 yards per punt return this season before the injury.

Wallace became the primary punt returner and made an immediate impact, scoring on a 76-yard punt return in overtime against the Rams. Wallace averaged an NFL-best 21.2 yards on six returns since taking over for Duvernay.

Justice Hill has been the starting kickoff returner and averaged 39.7 yards on three returns.

However, the Ravens are grateful to have Duvernay back to return kicks in the playoffs.

“[Duvernay] has been great since he’s gotten back out there,” Horton said. “He just fit right back into where he left off. Once he came back, he started to get those opportunities. We put him back there and let him field some of those punts [and] field some of those kickoffs. He looks good. He looks like he’s ready to go.”


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