As the Baltimore Ravens began forming their practice squad Sunday afternoon, LaQuan Williams was given his walking papers as the team waived the wide receiver.
The Baltimore native was set to begin his third season with his hometown Ravens when he unexpectedly received the bad news from Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and the rest of the coaching staff.
Williams was the definition of a hometown hero for the Ravens as he was also a graduate of the University of Maryland, where he played alongside Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith.
Despite all of his hometown connections and dream to play for the team he grew up watching, it comes down to results in the NFL and simply put, LaQuan wasn’t consistent enough to garner a roster spot on the 53-man squad.
Sure, he has had some time in the past with first-team guys and against starting defenses. He made two crucial catches in a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the “Steel City” in 2011. However, with just four career catches in his first two seasons, he wasn’t exactly a guy that was viewed as a necessity to have offensively.
He did shine at times during the 2013 preseason, albeit against backups. But it appeared that Williams did just enough to at least crack the depth chart for the Ravens.
The most shocking reason for his departure is the way he contributed to the organization on special teams. Williams was a guy who was utilized on every special teams unit and was exceptional at covering punts, kicks and bringing guys down. Considering the team had parted ways with former Ravens running back Anthony Allen, another quality special teams player, it appeared that LaQuan would be safe and have at least his special teams work to look forward to in 2013 with the Ravens.
The main reason as to why he was let go was the injury bug. Williams battled injuries throughout training camp and the amount of time he was missing practice was catching up to him. He has struggled in the past with injuries, but after he strained his hamstring in the preseason finale against the St. Louis Rams, it was enough of a blow for the Ravens to cut ties with the 25-year-old.
While the loss of LaQuan Williams isn’t devastating for the Baltimore Ravens, his contributions on special teams will be missed. That’s what young guys are for though and the Ravens have plenty of fresh meat looking to contribute on that third of the game.