Corey Graham made the Pro Bowl as a special teams performer and reserve cornerback for the Bears last season.
Coach John Harbaugh has repeatedly talked about how Graham came to the Ravens in the offseason hoping for a legitimate chance to play defensive back.
That opportunity has come in the form of long-term injuries suffered by cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith.
Graham has started the Ravens’ last two games at corner, marking his most starts in a season since he had nine in 2008, his second NFL season. Graham has capitalized on the increased playing time and came through with a terrific performance in Sunday night’s 13-10 victory at Pittsburgh. He finished with eight tackles, three passes defended and an interception.
“Corey came up with so many big plays - you talk about the interception and the broken-up passes, the knocking the ball loose in the last drive, the play in the corner of the end zone,” Harbaugh said. “But there were also a number of tackles. He made some tackles in the run game stepping up from his nickel position and making plays. He played really well.
“He’s a great guy. He wanted an opportunity to prove himself as a defensive back, and he got it, and he did it, and he’s continuing to do it.”
The team has already lost two of its top three cornerbacks and veteran safety Ed Reed could miss Sunday’s game at San Diego while serving a one-game suspension. So the fact that the Ravens know they can trust the likes of Graham is important come Sunday.
“(The depth) going to be tested against San Diego for sure,” Harbaugh said. “I would say it’s being tested - exactly right. So far, I expect them to continue to hold up their end of it. They have done probably a better than expected job - better than you could probably expect any secondary to do under those circumstances. We have gone deep at corner more than anything. To go as deep as we’ve done at corner and to keep the level of play up that high is a good thing.”