Fabian Washington hasn’t played especially well over the last month and a half or so, but to see the sixth-year cornerback among the Ravens’ gameday inactives prior to yesterday’s game against the Buccaneers was still a bit surprising.
After all, Washington had just been in the starting lineup three games prior, and he hadn’t been battling any injuries going into the Bucs game.
Today, head coach John Harbaugh explained the rationale for Washington’s deactivation.
“The idea was to get an extra defensive lineman up,” Harbaugh said. “We were going against a team that was more a two wide receiver, three wide receiver set-type of a team. We felt like if we got jammed up, we could play [cornerback] Cary [Williams]. And Cary is a special teams guy, where Fabian is not as much of a special teams guy.
“We just really wanted the extra defensive lineman for the running game. We didn’t want to come up short with the big guys.”
With the Ravens facing a tough Bucs running attack featuring the bruising LeGarrette Blount and Carnell Williams, rookie defensive tackle Arthur Jones was the guy who was activated, and he saw his first NFL playing time behind Haloti Ngata.
As for delivering the news to Washington, Harbaugh said that it wasn’t a difficult thing to do.
The coaches have to make these decisions every week, and while Washington hadn’t been a healthy scratch since joining the Ravens in 2008, he’s aware of the decisions the coaching staff has to make.
“We do it like we always do it, you go tell the guy when you make the decision,” Harbaugh said. “It’s not anything complicated. We’re not worried about anybody’s feelings. These guys are grown men. They’re pros. They know how it works.”
Washington wasn’t visibly upset with the decision after the game.
“I’m just rolling with the punches,” he said. “I just work here. I do what the boss says.”