Oct 17, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Latavius Murray (28) carries the ball as Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (97) defends during the first half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens’ Latavius Murray, Sammy Watkins ruled out

The Baltimore Ravens will be missing at least two offensive starters for a key AFC North battle against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday. Running back Latavius Murray and wide receiver Sammy Watkins have both been ruled out after not practicing this week.

Devonta Freeman projects as the likely starter at running back, while rookie Rashod Bateman, who got 45 snaps and six targets last week, should see lots of time filling in for Watkins.

An eight-year veteran and two-time Pro Bowler, Freeman has rushed for 95 yards on 16 carries with one touchdown this season in a reserve role.

Murray, 31, leads all Ravens running backs with 212 yards on 59 rushes (3.6 per carry) with four touchdowns, while Watkins, 28, averages a team-leading 16.2 yards on his 18 receptions (292 yards).

In other injury news, two offensive linemen, Bradley Bozeman and Alejandro Villanueva, are both listed as questionable after being limited in practice Thursday and Friday, while linebacker Patrick Queen and cornerback Tavon Young are also questionable.

The Bengals, on the other hand, look healthy coming into the matchup, with only cornerback Jalen Davis and defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin (both backups) listed as questionable.

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray (28) runs the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first quarter of a NFL game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Ravens, RB Latavius Murray agree to 1-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens addressed their injury-ravaged backfield by agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with running back Latavius Murray, multiple media outlets reported Friday.

Per ESPN, the deal is worth up to $2 million.

Murray, 31, was released by the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday after reportedly refusing to take a pay cut. He signed a four-year, $14.4 million contract with the Saints in 2019.

The addition of Murray comes one day after Ravens running back Gus Edwards reportedly sustained a torn ACL in practice.

Edwards was elevated to the team’s No. 1 running back after J.K. Dobbins tore his ACL on Aug. 28 in a preseason game. The team also lost reserve running back Justice Hill to a torn Achilles on Sept. 2.

Murray is the latest in a number of new faces in the Ravens’ backfield. The team signed running backs Trenton Cannon, Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman, with the latter two being placed on the practice squad.

Ty’Son Williams is expected to make his first career start in Baltimore’s season opener against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night.

As the Saints’ change-of-pace back behind Alvin Kamara, Murray rushed for 656 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games in 2020, averaging 4.5 yards per attempt. He added 176 receiving yards and one touchdown catch.

In his seven-year career with the then-Oakland Raiders (2014-16), Minnesota Vikings (2017-18) and Saints (2019-20), Murray has totaled 4,991 rushing yards and 43 rushing touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray (28) runs the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first quarter of a NFL game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Saints release RB Latavius Murray

The New Orleans Saints released running back Latavius Murray and signed cornerback Desmond Trufant on Tuesday.

ESPN reported that the Saints asked Murray to take a pay cut, and he declined. Murray, 31, signed a four-year, $14.4 million contract with the Saints in 2019.

As the Saints’ change-of-pace back behind Alvin Kamara, Murray rushed for 656 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games in 2020, averaging 4.5 yards per attempt. He added 176 receiving yards and one touchdown catch.

In his seven-year career with the then-Oakland Raiders (2014-16), Minnesota Vikings (2017-18) and Saints (2019-20), Murray has totaled 4,991 rushing yards and 43 rushing touchdowns.

Trufant, who turns 31 on Friday, was a free agent after being recently released by the Chicago Bears.

Trufant spent the 2020 season with the Detroit Lions. He recorded one interception, one sack and 20 tackles in six games, all starts.

Before that, he played his first seven NFL seasons for the Saints’ division rivals, the Atlanta Falcons. He has 14 career interceptions and seven fumble recoveries (two returned for touchdowns) in 103 games.

New Orleans opens the season Sunday against the Green Bay Packers in Jacksonville, Fla.

–Field Level Media

Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton talks to quarterback Taysom Hill (7) in the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Saints’ Latavius Murray, Taysom Hill likely out

The New Orleans Saints are unlikely to have backup running back Latavius Murray or multifaceted offensive weapon Taysom Hill when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Sunday’s NFC Divisional Round playoff game, according to NFL Network.

Hill, who plays quarterback, wide receiver and running back, suffered a knee injury last week in a 21-9 win over the Chicago Bears and was held out of practice during the week.

Murray was also held out through the week with a quadriceps injury. Both returned to practice Friday but were limited.

Hill frequently replaces starting quarterback Drew Brees in short-yardage situations and filled in as the starter for four games when Brees was injured. He went 3-1 in that stretch.

For the season, Hill has completed 72.7 percent of his passes for 928 yards and four touchdowns. Hill has also rushed 87 times for 457 yards and eight touchdowns and caught eight passes for 98 yards and one score.

Murray, who backs up Alvin Kamara, had 146 carries for 656 yards and four touchdowns during the regular season. He added 23 receptions for 176 yards and one TD.

–Field Level Media