OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens open the 2021 preseason on Saturday night, at 7:00 p.m., against the New Orleans Saints and one of the guys who should see plenty of snaps is second-year wide receiver Devin Duvernay.
He’s the Ravens’ primary kickoff returner but with so many injuries to the receiving group, this preseason could provide a chance for him to showcase his skills at wideout.
WMAR-2 Sports Reporter Shawn Stepner got a chance to go one-on-one with Duvernay following Thursday’s training camp practice. Below is the conversation:
Stepner: What’s the mindset as you get on the field with your team for the first time this preseason?
Duvernay: Just go out and keep improving. Use these preseason games to get good looks against other teams. Been doing it against our own guys and it’s going to be good to be able to do it against some other teams and just continue to showcase myself.
Stepner: What about fans? Fans are back.
Duvernay: Most definitely going to be excited for the fans. Got a little taste of it with the Saturday practice we had in the stadium. Definitely excited about the fans being back.
Stepner: Does it feel like it’s been forever since you guys went against another team in a live environment?
Duvernay: Yeah. It feels like decades. Extremely excited to get back out there and go against some other opponents.
While Duvernay will suit up, many of his teammates won’t. Receivers Rashod Bateman (groin), Marquise Brown (hamstring), Miles Boykin (hamstring) and Deon Cain (undisclosed) are all out with injuries. That means more snaps for No. 13.
Stepner: What kind of opportunity does that open up, for you specifically, to show the coaches about your role, potentially, in the receiving game?
Duvernay: Yeah. For sure. Definitely. Hate to see injuries but it happens. It’s part of the game. New opportunity for me to continue to showcase myself to the coaches and everybody else - my teammates - let them know what I can do and that they can trust me and rely on me.
Stepner: The return game. You showed a lot last season. What can we expect on Saturday and then into the regular season?
Duvernay: Improvement from last year. I’m another year in, another year of experience. I kind of know what to expect some more in the return game. Those guys did a great job last year blocking for me and paving the way for me so big credit to them, and the coaches drawing things up. Looking for another big year and hopefully a couple more touchdowns.
Duvernay had 21 kickoff returns last season for 578 yards including a 93-yard touchdown. He also had 20 catches for 201 yards.