By Danny Cox
The Pittsburgh Steelers are not the only team in the AFC North suffering through serious injury problems now. John Harbaugh, coach of the Baltimore Ravens, is already dealing with some big injuries on his squad, but Sunday’s victory over the Dallas Cowboys ended up being even more costly.
Both linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb suffered injuries that placed them on injured reserve and has them out for the year.
“Ray has a triceps tear. A complete tear. So he’ll be out for the season,” Harbaugh told reporters. “We just found that out in the last five minutes.”
Lewis’ injury came near the end of the game and caused him to sit out the last few drives. For those that know Lewis or the Ravens at all, that is completely out of the ordinary. Ray Lewis has started 226 games since being drafted in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft by Baltimore.
Many feel as if this could be the end of the line for Lewis and his time in the NFL.
Due to make $5.4 million in 2013 as part of a seven-year contract that runs through 2015, Lewis may be done. There is the possibility that the injury may not heal too quickly or as well as that for a younger player.
Lewis will turn 38 in May.
Webb’s injury is a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and immediately shelved him for the rest of the season.
“He’s very upset,” a league source with knowledge of the situation told Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “It’s a shame. He had worked his butt off. Now, he’s got to rehab like crazy to get back for next year. He’ll work hard and get it done, but it’s not what he wants. He wants to be out there on the field with his teammates.”
Webb had 25 tackles so far this season along with one forced fumble and an interception. An already struggling secondary will now have Jimmy Smith starting opposite Cary Williams in hopes of advancing from a 23rd ranked pass defense.
Lewis may end up being missed even more though, and not just because of his 57 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. His leadership on the field is going to be sorely missing from a Baltimore squad that can’t seem to get totally on track this season.
Despite the major injuries that the Ravens are going through, the team has no intention of rushing an injured Terrell Suggs back.
Suggs suffered an injury to his Achillies in the offseason and is eligible to return to practice this Wednesday, but that is unlikely. Baltimore does not want to rush him back and have Suggs suffer some type of setback in his recovery.
It is expected that Suggs will not be game-ready until mid-November at the very earliest.
The lucky thing for the Ravens right now is that they are sitting atop the AFC North with a 5-1 record, and their closest competition is a 3-3 Cincinnati Bengals team. Pittsburgh has been struggling on the road and dealing with their own injuries. Cleveland just got their first win of the season, and won’t be competing any time soon.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.