Ar’Darius Washington eager to make impact at safety for Ravens

OWINGS MILLS — Safety Ar’Darius Washington was one of the standouts on the Ravens’ defense during the recent offseason workouts.

With Kyle Hamilton sidelined with an elbow injury, Washington took advantage of the extra reps in the secondary. Washington made an interception when he tipped the ball to himself, broke up numerous passes and was consistently around the ball.

Washington has the edge to become the Ravens’ third safety behind Hamilton and Marcus Williams after Geno Stone signed with the Bengals this offseason.

Coach John Harbaugh has been impressed with Washington’s performance.

“Ar’Darius has looked really good,” Harbaugh said. “I feel great about him. He’s already established himself. He’s played in the games – every game he’s played in, he’s played well. He’s looked great in practice, and let’s get him out there and get him in some more games. That’s the goal.”

The key for Washington is to stay healthy after dealing with injuries. He has appeared in just eight games over three seasons.

Last year, Washington was placed on injured reserve after sustaining a chest injury in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals. He did return in January and signed a one-year, $985,000 contract with the Ravens this offseason.

Washington finished with 11 tackles, one sack, two quarterback hits, and two passes defended last season. He was the Ravens’ fifth-highest-graded defensive player against the Texans, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Ravens also added safety Sanoussi Kane in the seventh round of the 2024 NFL draft from Purdue. Kane has also looked solid in the initial workouts.

The team needs the depth, especially with Williams’ injury history over the last two seasons. In 2022, Williams was placed on injured reserve with a dislocated wrist in Week 5 and later was activated on December 10th. Last season, Williams tore a pectoral muscle in his left shoulder in the season opener and missed six games, but he still finished with 55 combined tackles, eight pass breakups and an interception.

Hamilton is expected to be ready for training camp but the Ravens will be careful with his injured elbow. It’s created an opportunity for Washington.

“Ar’Darius is really a good player,” Harbaugh said. “[It’s] just a matter of him staying healthy and getting some time on task, and he can play safety or nickel, can go outside and get you out – [he’s] a very diverse player. I’m a big Ar’Darius fan. I think he’s going to have a great year.”

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