A strong Baltimore Ravens secondary could be even better in 2020 with the return of nickelback Tavon Young.
Young missed the entire 2019 campaign after suffering a neck injury in practice. The Ravens expect the 26-year-old to be full-go when training camp opens.
"He looks healthy on the computer," defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale said last week, via the team's official website. "He says he's healthy. He's ready to go. Tavon is ready to go, and if he tells me he's ready to go, I believe in him 100 percent. And he'll be ready to go, so I'm excited about that."
The Ravens signed Young to a three-year contract extension in Feb. 2019, worth $25.8 million, which at the time made him the highest-paid nickel corner. When he's healthy, Young flashed as a playmaking talent in the secondary, recording 36 tackles, two sacks, an interception and five pass breakups, and scoring two TDs on fumble recoveries in 2018.
Health, however, has been the former fourth-round pick's bugaboo. Young missed the entire 2017 campaign with a torn ACL suffered during OTAs. In 2018, he battled through a sports hernia that kept him out of the team's playoff loss and forced offseason surgery. Then, he missed all of 2019 with a neck injury.
Martindale's optimism surrounding Young's return meshes with coach John Harbaugh's positive outlook on the corner from January when he noted Young was expected back for OTAs and other offseason workouts. Obviously, he wasn't on the field for workouts this spring, but the timeline is unchanged as we head toward training camp.
A healthy Young could improve an already solid secondary. With Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters as outside corners, Young would provide versatility at the nickelback position as a player who can cover receivers and blitz from the slot and is unafraid to step up versus the run.