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Ravens LB Matt Judon Named AFC Defensive Player Of The Week

November 22, 2017
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Ravens linebacker Matt Judon has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after helping the Ravens to their 23-0 shutout of the Green Bay Packers Nov. 19, the Ravens third shutout of the season.

Judon had seven tackles, a pair of sacks, two other tackles for losses and also forced a fumble. Through 10 games, Judon ranks fifth on the team with 38 tackles (not counting three on special teams) and ranks second with five sacks -- all in the past five games.

"He's a very smart player," head coach John Harbaugh said before practice Nov. 21. "For a 270-pound-plus guy, he's a really good athlete. He's kind of living up to our expectations right now."

Judon was selected in the fifth round of the draft last year out of Grand Valley State in Michigan, where he had led all college players as a senior with 21 sacks. The Ravens, incidentally, drafted Judon with a pick they acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars by trading back in the second round. The Ravens ultimately drafted Kamalei Correa in that second round, but the starting outside linebacker from that draft proved not to be Correa, but the player they drafted three rounds later. 

After playing in 14 games as a reserve last year, with 27 tackles and four sacks, Judon has taken over the starting strongside linebacker job.

He has dropped about 10 pounds from last year, which has made him a little quicker off the edge and has given him more range when asked to drop in coverage.

After opening the season without a sack in the first five games, Judon was fielding questions in the locker room about when the sacks would start to come. He has since tallied five sacks in the past five games.

"I felt like I believed in myself," Judon said, "and I came in here and showed it in camp, and everybody started to believe in me as well, and now just reaping the benefits."

NOTEBOOK

STANLEY REMAINS IN CONCUSSION PROTOCOL: Harbaugh said starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley is still in the concussion protocol. Stanley was hurt late in the game at Tennessee in Week 9 and missed the game at Green Bay Nov. 19. 

COLLINS: FIRST TOUCHDOWN 'LONG OVERDUE': Alex Collins scored his first touchdown of the season against the Packers on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter, and he called the score 'long overdue' in a season in which he has vaulted from a practice squad player to the Ravens' No. 1 back. "It felt long overdue," Collins said. "Just going in every game, that's the goal, you're looking forward to getting in that end zone. … To finally get in there, it just felt like all the straining was worth it." 

Collins, a fifth-round draft pick by Seattle last year, was cut by the Seahawks at the end of training camp and signed to the Ravens' practice squad. Within two weeks, he was on the 53-man roster, and within four weeks, he had become the starter. Collins leads the Ravens in carries (113) and rushing yards (570), and his emergence has been especially important given the team's passing-game struggles. "It's one of the great stories in the NFL this year," Harbaugh said.

Follow Bo on Twitter @bsmolka    

Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox