Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he was encouraged that center Jeremy Zuttah would recover quickly from the shoulder injury that sidelined him during the Chargers game, but the Ravens know they must be better prepared should Zuttah miss any additional time.
After Zuttah left the game on Sunday, second-year lineman John Urschel stepped in as the Ravens center. But Urschel struggled, snapping one ball past quarterback Joe Flacco and sending back a couple of other floaters in the shotgun formation.
“Shotgun snaps are something I have to work on,” Urschel said after the game. “It’s always nice to get the win, and be able to smile. I’m very grateful to my teammates that they got me through that, and they kept me calm through the game.”
Harbaugh admitted on Monday that Urschel "did not do a great job with the snaps, obviously. It was tough for Joe to handle the gun snaps, and we had one missed snap on the under-center snap, too. That’s something we really have to go to work on, even if Jeremy comes back for this next game.”
Harbaugh, though, sounded optimistic that the Ravens would have Zuttah back when they face Jacksonville at M&T Bank Stadium a week from Sunday. All players are off from Thursday through Sunday this week for the bye week.
“Things do look good for Jeremy,” Harbaugh said after Wednesday’s bye week practice. “We’ll know more Monday."
The Ravens also have Ryan Jensen as a candidate at center, but neither he nor Urschel have been called upon much in that role. Zuttah has started every game since joining the Ravens last season.
Urschel was a guard throughout his Penn State career and is considered the Ravens top backup guard and backup center. He has seen time at all three interior line positions -- left guard, center and right guard.
“That’s just the deal as a backup offensive lineman,” Urschel said after the Chargers game. “I did play right guard earlier in the game. Someone else goes down, you just go right in, and try to do the best you can.”