Injury news for the Baltimore Ravens‘ receiving corps continues to trickle in.
“I think he’s going to be OK in the long run,” Harbaugh said during a sideline interview at the Michigan-Maryland game. Harbaugh was in attendance to support his brother, Jim, the coach for Michigan. “He’s got some small microfractures in his back (from) what I’ve been told. They ruled him out for the Cleveland game. But after that, hopefully he’s going to be back.”
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that it’s believed to be a short-term injury for the uber-tough Smith.
“The best thing I can do without threatening him and saying that I will assault him when I see him,” Smith said after the game, “is I will say I look forward to playing him again. He’s on my lifetime hit list.”
The Ravens released the following statement regarding Smith’s status:
“While the Ravens do not give specifics about injuries out of respect to the men on our team and HIPAA laws, we want to dispel rumors and stories currently being reported about Steve Smith Sr’s injury. He does have a back injury. It is not a surgical issue. His status is currently week-to-week.”
Smith took to Twitter to discuss his injury:
Prior to the injury, the 36-year-old was on a tear during his Goodbye Tour in his final NFL season. In Weeks 2 and 3, Smith caught 23 passes for a combined 336 yards and became the first player in Ravens history with consecutive 150-plus receiving yard games. He was also the sixth player in NFL history (and the oldest, at 36) to produce at least 10 receptions for 150-plus yards in two straight games (previous oldest was Jerry Rice — 33 years old in 1995).
While it’s positive news that the fractures in Smith’s back aren’t expected to be a long-term issue — or cut his final season short — if the wideout misses any time at all the Ravens passing game is in trouble.
By the end of Thursday’s game Joe Flacco was forced to target Marlon Brown, Kamar Aiken, Darren Waller, and Nick Boyle. Even adding Givens to the mix, that is not a recipe for productive passing offense.