With injuries come roster moves, and of course when the injuries they just start rolling for the Ravens. Lardarius Webb was placed on the IR, meaning he is done for the season. No surprise there, as it was revealed that Webb tore his meniscus as well as his ACL. He will be on a tight timetable to get back for next season. Then again Adrian Peterson had a similar injury on Christmas Eve last year and made it back for week one.
Ray Lewis was also placed on the IR, designated to return. A little presumptuous as a torn triceps will almost certainly not allow him to play even in the playoffs, but he will be eligible to return by week 15. That would be certainly a jolt going into the playoffs, but don’t expect to see the future Hall of Famer on the field this season.
Terrell Suggs was activated from the PUP list today, but don’t expect to see him on the field soon either. Suggs started light practice, but is still far from even full practice. He won’t play against Houston, and will have a full two weeks with the bye looming after that. The hopeful projection by Harbaugh earlier this season was the first game after the bye, but that will depend completely on how his heel responds to practice. Hopefully we see him on the field soon though as his presence is needed more than ever.
Replacing Webb and Lewis on the roster, two practice squad players were promoted. Bobby Rainey was the first. Rainey originally made the roster as the third RB, but didn’t even last to week one. Anthony Allen took his spot, but he has rarely seen the field on offense. Expect Rainey to have much of the same role and work on Special Teams. Josh Bynes took the other roster spot. He has performed well in training camps and preseasons, but has made minimal impact in the regular season. With a lot of depth at LB even with Lewis out, Bynes will be hard pressed to see the field on defense. Special Teams seem his best bet for playing time as well.
Ed Reed revealed on a radio interview that he has been playing all season with a torn labrum. It sounds awful, but the injury is one many players play through. It isn’t shocking Reed would do the same, especially since he has been playing through injuries for years now. He couldn’t announce this at a worse time though with most Ravens fans a stressing hard about the injuries on defense.
Speaking of which, Jimmy Smith didn’t practice today. He injured his groin in the win against Dallas, but that was pushed to the side a bit with the other big injuries in that one. Smith is slated to the start opposite of Cary Williams, but that may have to wait another week. In any ordinary circumstance I wouldn’t be opposed to Smith sitting out a week to come back 100% after the bye. Unfortunately, the Ravens need Smith more than ever. If he can’t go, Chykie Brown would be the likely starter. I though Corey Graham would take over nickel duty, but Harbaugh has Brown ahead of the long time special teamer. I like Brown, but not starting his first game against a 5-1 Houston team.
I’ll have a Houston game preview up soon, but I have been taken back trying to keep up with all of the injury news. In short, they share the same record with Baltimore and are the only other team in the whole AFC that has a winning record. Yeah, that is a pretty remarkable stat going into week 7. They are coming off their first loss of the season, a pounding by the Packers in which Aaron Rodgers threw 6 touchdown passes. They are based on a power running game led by Arian Foster, with a very capable backup in Ben Tate. Matt Schaub is an above average QB, hovering just below the elite category sort of like Joe Flacco. And of course they have an incredible WR in Andre Johnson. It will be interesting to see who has the role of covering him. Their defense includes a stout pass rush led by the outstanding JJ Watt. The O-line will certainly have the their hands full.