The life of an offensive lineman in the NFL can be cold and lonely as well as downright painful when it comes to criticism. Offensive linemen are usually the ones you never hear about unless that one crucial play isn’t made. Baltimore Ravens tackle James Hurst has experienced that criticism firsthand and has done more than just survive. Hurst, a former rookie free agent out of the University of North Carolina, has become a valuable backup at multiple positions in Baltimore. Let’s take a look at his record.
• Helped QB Joe Flacco establish career highs in passing yards (3,986) and TD passes (27), completing 62.1% of his passes (344 of 554) for a 91.0 passer rating (2014).
• Was one of three rookie free agents (LB Zachary Orr and RB Fitzgerald Toussaint) to make the Ravens’ 2014 opening-day 53-man roster.
• In 2016, competed in all 16 games (three starts) and was part of an offensive line that helped protect QB Joe Flacco, allowing him to register a career-high 64.9 completion percentage (436-of-672) and throw for a franchise-record 4,317 yards
• Played on special teams and subbed at RT for Rick Wagner (concussion) in the third and fourth quarter at Pittsburgh on Christmas Day.
• Started at LT for an injured Ronnie Stanley (foot) and was part of an offensive line that helped generate 130 rushing yards against the playoff-bound Oakland Raiders.
The departure of veterans like Rick Wagner and Jeremy Zuttah will put James Hurst in the spotlight as one of the Ravens most valuable veterans along the offensive line in 2017.
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