Leonard Williams
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams hasn’t seen the field since he exited the Week 2 win over the Panthers with a knee injury. He’s been sidelined three games and the Giants have missed his presence in the run-defending department. New York allowed the Cowboys to rush for 176 yards in Week 3 before letting up 149 rushing yards against the Bears the following Sunday.

The veteran is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s matchup with the Ravens. But NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports Williams is expected to play.

This is a huge boost for Wink Martindale’s defense.

Because Lamar Jackson is coming to town. The star quarterback leads an offense that knows how to tire out opposing defenses via the ground game. The Ravens are seventh in the NFL with 144.6 rushing yards per game. Jackson leads all quarterbacks and is 10th overall in the league with 374 rushing yards.

Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence is having a great season, and inside linebacker Jaylon Smith has been productive since signing to the active roster prior to Week 4. But the return of Williams should be incredibly crucial against this Ravens offense.

Baltimore knows how to effectively utilize the run game, and could use it to open up the play action against an inexperienced and banged-up Giants secondary. A healthy and active Williams-Lawrence duo in the trenches should force the Ravens into various third-and-long situations, when Martindale could then unleash the exotic blitz packages that are near and dear to his heart.

More from ESNY

Listen to ESNY’s Wide Right Podcast on Apple here or on Spotify here.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.