Ravens' Ben Watson out for season with torn Achilles


The Baltimore Ravens will be without tight end Ben Watson in 2016.

The reliable veteran tore his right Achilles tendon on the first play of Saturday night's preseason game against the Detroit Lions. Bunched with a few Ravens wideouts, Watson seemed to get tripped up while running a route and immediately crumbled to the turf. The injury was clear enough that the team was able to almost instantly diagnose and confirm the tear.

The news is obviously heartbreaking for the Ravens, who made an aggressive push for Watson this offseason and stole him away from the New Orleans Saints. Fellow veteran tight end Dennis Pitta is coming off a hip injury that some guessed would end his career, and he's now nursing a broken finger. Nick Boyle is suspended and Maxx Williams has been missing practices and did not dress Saturday.

Quarterback Joe Flacco was very down about losing his tight end. "It's going to be very tough on us," he told reporters.

The injury obviously brings up questions about Watson's immediate future. The 35-year-old had been remarkably consistent throughout his career but has already sustained the rigors of 12 NFL seasons. Will the Ravens and Watson push for a comeback so he can finish out his contract and career in Baltimore?

Known as one of the NFL's good guys, Watson has been a Walter Payton Man of the Year Award finalist and Byron "Whizzer" White Man of the Year Award finalist over the course of his career. Watson caught 74 passes for 825 yards and six touchdowns last year in New Orleans.