When training camp began, rookie free agent linebacker Nigel Carr had a legitimate shot at making the Ravens 53-man roster.
As training camp continued, Carr went from a player many fans were talking about to getting lost in the mix of a competitive group of young players.
When the Ravens announced their final roster and practice squad, Carr’s name wasn’t on the list. He was not one of the final 53-men on the active roster and wasn’t chosen for the eight-man practice squad as some had thought.
Ray Lewis’ triceps injury created a spot at linebacker on the team and Josh Bynes was elevated from the practice squad to the active roster. With Bynes’ promotion, Carr was re-signed by the team and placed on the practice squad.
“I’m very excited, it’s an exciting time for me and my family,” he said. “ I just have to take advantage of this opportunity and I’m blessed right now.”
As expected, being originally released by the team wasn’t an easy thing for Carr to digest.
“It was difficult,” Carr said. “I believe everything happens for a reason. It was time for me to realize where I was at and it just gave me a chance to have faith in God.”
Waiting more than six weeks for the phone call he had hoped for, Carr had to remain motivated to have another chance in the NFL.
“You have to keep pressing, keep working out just knowing that you’re going to get that call,” he said. “You can never train for football shape but you’ve got to get used to practicing, bending, things like that.
Carr has watched every Ravens game this season and when he saw the team suffer two major defensive injuries, he wasn’t sure if that would mean he’d receive another invite into the Ravens facilities.
“There were a lot of teams telling me that I’m very high on their board and they were going to bring me in if an injury occurred,” Carr said. “I’m glad to be back in Baltimore honestly, I have a rapport with some of the guys.”
During training camp, Carr was focused on learning the Ravens playbook and avoided any off-field distractions. Now that he’s back with the team, he feels that his prior work over the summer has paid off.
“I’ve been looking over [the playbook] and getting back used to it,” he said. “I honestly remember everything.”
For Carr, a new chance with the Ravens is his latest to correct a highly touted football career that was derailed by off field issues and arrests. Having stayed out of trouble, making it in the NFL is the next step in his life.
On the practice squad, he has an uphill climb; however, Carr seems to be fit for the challenge.