Ravens CB Tavon Young potentially out for season after signing big extension

Jack BaerYahoo Sports Contributor
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/29338/" data-ylk="slk:Tavon Young">Tavon Young</a> will likely miss two of his first four seasons in the NFL. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Tavon Young will likely miss two of his first four seasons in the NFL. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The Baltimore Ravens paid Tavon Young this offseason like he was one of the NFL’s top slot cornerbacks and an integral part of their plan in the secondary going forward. Now, they probably won’t see him on the field at all this season.

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Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters after Thursday’s preseason game that Young is dealing with a neck injury and could be out for the season.

"Tavon had a more serious issue than we thought. He’s got a neck issue,” Harbaugh said. “The doctors can explain it, but it’s a disc issue. That’s a serious injury. He could be out for the remainder of the season. We’ll know soon. But it doesn’t look good for Tavon."

Per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, Harbaugh also said presumably season-ending surgery is probably “the best thing to do,” though there is apparently an “outside chance” the injury could heal on its own.

Tavon Young a serious loss for Ravens

Losing Young for most, if not all, of the season is a serious blow to the Ravens secondary. The team handed Young a three-year, $25.8 million extension this offseason that briefly made the 25-year-old the NFL’s highest-paid nickel back. That deal was surpassed weeks later by Justin Coleman’s deal with the Detroit Lions.

After a strong rookie season in 2016, Young missed the entire 2017 season with a torn ACL. He was strong in his return, joining a cornerback trio that Pro Football Focus ranked as the second-best unit in the league.

Fortunately for the Ravens, they have some options at the slot corner. Former Patriots second-rounder Cyrus Jones has had a strong training camp and figures to take over as the team’s slot corner, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. Veteran cornerback Brandon Carr also has experience playing inside and could be a decent option.

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