This guy would be HOF someday if he could just stay healthy. With Jimmy Smith that is a huge “IF”…and it just isn’t happening. At age 33, it is not gonna happen.
The Ravens held their collective breath as cornerback Jimmy Smith left Friday’s practice on the back of a cart. Head coach John Harbaugh did not yet have an update on Smith by the time he spoke to reporters after practice, but initial media reports are that it’s not serious.
Smith was close in coverage on tight end Mark Andrews when he went down. Smith limped to the sideline, where he stayed on his feet for a bit before taking a seat and waiting for the cart to come. There was about 30 minutes left in practice.
Turns out this is a low ankle sprain, maybe 6 weeks of rest and rehab… but still… how unlucky for Smith. He has all-pro talent if he could just get a pain-free way to show it.
Smith has been snake-bitten by injuries over the course of his career. In the last two seasons, he’s played just 19 games total for the team missing time with an MCL sprain, groin strain, ankle sprain and shoulder injury.
Smith has also suffered an Achilles tear, multiple other ankle sprains and a sports hernia over the course of his 10-year career with the Ravens. The veteran returned to the team on a one-year $2.5 million deal this season. In his time with the Ravens, he has collected 14 interceptions. The Ravens selected Smith with the 27th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Lamar Jackson (Reserve/COVID) is still not on the field, although he is back in the building undergoing tests, Harbaugh said.
Wide receivers Marquise Brown (hamstring), Miles Boykin (hamstring) and Rashod Bateman were all out. Guard Kevin Zeitler (foot) has been out since Tuesday and now safety DeShon Elliott was missing, as Harbaugh said he has a non-COVID illness.
Besides the absences and Smith’s injury, the Ravens had a high-tempo practice in pads. Here are some of the top notes from the Ravens’ official observers:
New pass rusher Justin Houston practiced for the first time but it was short-lived. He only did individual drills, then went inside and changed into a T-shirt and shorts before returning to watch practice from the sideline. In his brief time on the field, however, Houston looked very explosive in pass-rush drills. The Ravens want to ease the veteran into action considering he sat out OTAs and minicamp as a free agent, but he certainly passes the eye test.
- Running back Gus Edwards was activated from the Reserve/COVID list and practiced for the first time in training camp. He looked to be in excellent shape and jumped into 11-on-11 drills. Edwards showed he’s still got that physicality when he trucked a linebacker on the second level. “You could tell he was working out,” Harbaugh said.
- Odafe Oweh got a sack when he blazed around the left tackle in 11-on-11 drills. It’s wild how fast he’s on quarterbacks. The rookie first-round pick only needs a sliver of space to work with and he’s gone.
- Without Elliott on the field, some of the backup safeties got a chance to show out and Geno Stone took advantage with a couple big thuds on running backs when he came screaming downhill. In his second year, Stone sure looked decisive. Rookie third-round pick Brandon Stephens also got more reps against top competition.
- Cornerback Chris Westry had a nice pass breakup on a dep throw intended for Sammy Watkins, then dislodged the ball from Deon Cain on a short throw on the very next play. Westry started camp hot and now had his best day yet in pads.
- Patrick Queen had back-to-back standout plays when he stuffed an outside swing pass to J.K. Dobbins, then weaved through traffic to kill a rushing attempt in the backfield. With a better understanding of the defense (and offense), Queen’s elite athleticism is showing up more and he’s flying around the field.
- Outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson has looked better in pads, as expected. He’s a 6-foot-5, 275-pound man who brings physicality off the edge. Ferguson tossed one offensive lineman to the ground at the end of a pass rush.
- Anthony Averett continues to stand out in coverage, and he elevated high to break up a pass deep down the field even though wide receiver Devin Gray had him on his back.
- Marlon Humphrey also had a nice pass breakup on a long pass intended for Cain. It’s clear the cornerbacks enjoy being able to actually make contest passes as the number of deep balls completed has dropped significantly.
- Veteran Swiss-Army knife Anthony Levine Sr. got an interception on a pass over the middle, showing Co-Cap can still contribute on more than special teams. Andrews got Levine on the next play on a completion over the middle, however.