I have been waiting to post on the first few days of Ravens training camp heading towards the okay-to-hit- and- tackle phase because of this lurking sensibility of injury nightmare…
But now it’s official— the Ravens are already decimated by injury.
The ancient Romans defined “decimated” as losing one out of your 10 troopers in battle… Well, the Ravens are right there… although the “battle” hasn’t really yet begun.
I don’t know, I’m not a doctor or a geneticist—but it seems while human beings are striving to evolve into the perfect football player at their positions, the human knee structure has failed to keep up.
So many knee casualties at Ravens camp this year so far it feels like an epidemic!
According to Garrett Downing of the Ravens media staff, Baltimore has already lost six players to season-ending injuries, suspension or retirement, and the injury bug hit again during Tuesday’s training camp practice.
Rookie offensive lineman Nico Siragusa and wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo were both carted off the field with knee injuries, and NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported that Sirgausa suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Wide receiver Breshad Perriman left practice after tweaking his hamstring in individual drills, but head coach John Harbaugh said the injury is not expected to be serious.
Cornerback Sheldon Price (undisclosed) and wide receiver Kenny Bell (hamstring) both missed practice with injuries that could keep them sidelined for a “little while,” Harbaugh said. The Ravens also lost tight end Crockett Gillmore for the season and cornerback Maurice Canady for an extended period after they underwent knee surgeries.
As much as the injuries are taking a toll on the Ravens, Harbaugh stressed that the Ravens can’t focus on that.
“I think we’re going to be fine. We have a lot of good players,” he said. “We‘re going to play football games. We’re the Ravens and we’re going to be a really good team. That’s how we do it. Guys are going to get nicked up, guys are going to come back, not come back, guys are going to come next year – it’s the National Football League, I mean, look around the league.”
Well, John, maybe I’m delirious but this is the worst Ravens camp in terms of injuries over a few days that I’ve seen in 10 years of covering this team.
The good news on the injury front, according to Garrett Downing, is that wide receiver Michael Campanaro returned to the field for his first practice of training camp. He had been sidelined for most of the offseason program with a toe injury, but he was back as a full participant. The Ravens threw Campanaro right into the mix, and he was even taking first-team reps during full-team drills. Campanaro had a few nice catches on the day and it’s evident why the Ravens have high hopes for him.
– Safety Tony Jefferson is back to participating in full-team drills after easing into action the first week of camp. He had sports hernia surgery this offseason, and Harbaugh didn’t want to rush him back to action.
– Wide receiverChris Moore came down with the play of the day by hauling in a one-handed catch from quarterbackRyan Mallett along the sideline while cornerbackBrandon Carr was all over him. It was exactly the kind of play the Ravens want to see from the second-year receiver, and Mallett put the ball in a perfect spot from about 40 yards away.
– The offense struggled out of the gate, as Mallett and No. 3 quarterback Dustin Vaughan both threw interceptions early in practice. But the unit finished on a stronger note, as Mallett connected with Moore on that one-handed snag, and also hit wide receiver Chris Matthews with an impressive back-shoulder throw.
– Defensive lineman Willie Henry is having a strong start to training camp. On one play during live drills, he knifed through the defense to blow up a running play in the backfield. The second-year player spent last season on injured reserve, and he’s competing for a roster spot this year.
– Alex Lewis coming around the edge as a pulling guard is a scary thought for defensive players. The second-year lineman has good feet and is an imposing blocker when he gets into the open field.
– Rookie outside linebacker Tim Williams continues to impress. He has been a standout since the pads came on, and he had another strong day of practice. He blew by undrafted rookie tackleRoubbens Joseph during pass-rush drills, and his teammates were fired about how quickly he forced his way into the backfield. Fellow rookie pass rusher Tyus Bowser has flashed good speed when working to get around the offensive tackles and tight ends.
– Running back Buck Allen had a good day of work. He put on some nice moves after catching a screen pass out of the backfield. Later in the day, he had strong collisions with defensive backs while fighting for extra yards during red-zone drills.
I don’t know for sure, but it is looking more and more like this 2017 edition of the Ravens is a Mystery Ship. All aboard?