BALTIMORE - Joe Flacco knows he will make adjustments this week, as he prepares to face the Browns on Sunday without wide receivers Steve Smith and Michael Campanaro.
Campanaro (back injury) has been placed on injured reserve, while Smith has small fractures in his back that will keep him sidelined at least for the Browns game, if not longer. Both players were injured Thursday night against the Steelers. By the end of the game, the Ravens were down to three healthy wide receivers - Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown, and Darren Waller.
"At the end of the game, you could tell that we were losing guys. every play a guy was down,” said Flacco, making an appearance Monday at the Charles Carroll Barrister elementary school in Baltimore, near M&T Bank Stadium. “That’s just part of the league. You to got to deal with it, all that adversity. I think we’re going to be alright. Mike, I just heard about him yesterday. It’s just one of those tough things you have to deal with.”
Smith is the Ravens’ No. 1 receiver, off to a great start this season (29 catches, 373 yards, two touchdowns) at age 36. Flacco did not try to pretend that Smith’s talent and emotion would be easy to replace.
“You can see what he does out there, what he presents for defenses, not only for himself, but I think he opens things up for other guys,” Flacco said. “It will definitely be an adjustment for us. Guys are going to have to step up.”
Asked about wide receiver Chris Givens, who the Ravens acquired in a Saturday trade with the Rams, Flacco said, “I don’t know much about him, but I know he runs well. Just got to get him in there. He’s got to learn the offense so he can help us out as quickly as possible.”
On Monday morning, Flacco was reading to youngsters instead of reading defenses. The Ravens Foundation funded the library renovation at the Charles Carroll Barrister School, and the students were excited to see Flacco, who brought along two of his three young sons, Stephen (three) and Daniel (two).
Both Flacco and Ravens team president Dick Cass encouraged the children to keep reading. Meanwhile, Flacco, Givens, and the healthy Ravens receivers will try to get on the same page for Sunday.