Powers didn't pass a conditioning test Thursday and won't be able to practice until he does so, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com reports. Powers was one of three Ravens to fail said test -- also, wideouts Mike Wallace and Dobson Collins -- but once cleared, he appears to be the No. 1 choice to handle slot corner duties with his new organization.
Powers has the inside track for the slot corner role, The Baltimore Sun reports. Powers impressed teammates during OTAs and minicamp, reportedly showing a knack for interceptions, of which he has just 11 in 87 career regular-season games (82 starts). Although he was known as the weak link in Arizona's secondary the past few years, Powers should actually represent an upgrade for a Baltimore team that has struggled with poor cornerback play for the last half-decade. Though he only signed a one-year contract, Powers could even push Shareece Wright for a starting job on the outside across from Jimmy Smith (foot). In such a scenario, Powers might still shift inside in nickel and dime packages, which could make him an interesting IDP option in leagues that use specific positions. It's still speculative at this point, as Wright will enter training camp as the favorite to start.
Powers is expected to sign a one-year deal with the Ravens, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports. Powers struggled with injuries to start his career, but kept a relatively clean bill of health in Arizona the past three seasons, emerging as the Cardinals' starting cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson along the way. Although the Cardinals opted not to re-sign him this offseason, the 28-year-old Powers lands in Baltimore to solidify the Ravens' depth chart at cornerback, where Jimmy Smith embodies the team's clear-cut No. 1 option. In 13 games last season, Powers posted 52 tackles, two fumble recoveries, one interception, one sack and one defensive touchdown.
Powers enters the offseason as an unrestricted free agent. Upon entering the NFL in 2009, Powers dealt with an array of ailments and played in just 42 of a possible 64 games during his time with the Colts. After landing in Arizona during the 2013 offseason, he turned in back-to-back complete campaigns, but the injury bug reared its head this past season as he took on the starting cornerback spot opposite Patrick Peterson. In 13 games, though, he posted 52 tackles (46 solo), two fumble recoveries, one interception, one sack, and one defensive touchdown. With an able candidate to replace him on the Cardinals in Justin Bethel, the 28-year-old Powers may land elsewhere as a free agent, though a starting gig would likely still be on the table.
Powers produced three solo tackles and one pass defended in Sunday's defeat to the Seahawks. After two complete campaigns in 2013 and 2014, Powers has been beset by injury this season, missing two games due to a strained calf and failing to log a snap in another as a result of a Grade 2 hamstring strain. As long as the Cardinals remain in the playoff picture, though, he'll serve as the nickel corner following Tyrann Mathieu's season-ending ACL tear.
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