The Houston Texans offense should greatly benefit from the Baltimore Ravens — their Week 2 opponent — releasing Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas.
According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, the Baltimore Ravens have released seven-time Pro Bowler Earl Thomas less than three weeks from the start of the 2020 regular season.
Thomas reportedly got into a violent altercation with fellow safety Chuck Clark at Friday’s team practice — and it was the last straw for the Ravens. A true Super Bowl contender, Baltimore evidently decided their team chemistry and overall talent pool can survive without Thomas roaming the secondary this year.
It’s a surprising development, no doubt … and it’s also one that should be of direct impact and consequence on the Houston Texans, who are slotted to face the Ravens in the second week of the season.
Without Thomas, it’s fair to assume that Deshaun Watson, Will Fuller, Kenny Stills, and the other members of the Houston offense must be licking their chops at the prospect of attacking the Baltimore defense down the field.
Lack of remaining talent at free safety in Baltimore should help Houston
Cutting Thomas may have been the right thing to do from a team-building and cultural/structural perspective if you’re Baltimore, but it still leaves the Ravens precariously thin now at one of the game’s most important positions. Free safeties Deshon Elliott and Jordan Richards are now the only remaining options on the depth chart for Baltimore.
Elliott’s professional career can be boiled down to just six career tackles in six career games. Richards has been in the league for six years, but he’s played a full 16-game season just once and he’s currently on his third team since being drafted by the New England Patriots in 2015.
Unless the Ravens sign a veteran player to replace Thomas in the coming days, expect Bill O’Brien and new offensive coordinator Tim Kelly to test the Baltimore secondary early and often. Even if the Ravens do find a replacement, he’ll be working on very little time to get acclimated to the Baltimore system and scheme.
Understandably, this is all excellent news if you’re a Houston Texans fan.