Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith will not play Week 5 against the Browns due to small fractures in his back, coach John Harbaugh confirmed Saturday.
“I think he’s going to be OK in the long run,” Harbaugh said during a sideline interview with CSN's Lou Holder at Saturday’s Maryland-Michigan game. “He’s got some small microfractures in his back (from) what I’ve been told. They ruled him out for the Cleveland game. But after that, hopefully he’s going to be back.”
Despite Harbaugh’s hope that Smith would return after the Browns game, his absence will be another challenge for the Ravens (1-3), trying to rally from their 0-3 start. They have been hit hard by injuries at the wide receiver position. Michael Campanaro (herniated disc) was also injured Thursday night against the Steelers and is done for the season. Rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee injury) hasn’t played a snap, and suffered a setback when he aggravated his injury and underwent arthroscopic procedure several days ago.
Those injuries were the catalyst for a trade the Ravens made Saturday, acquiring wide receiver Chris Givens from the St. Louis Rams in exchange for a conditional draft pick.
“We’re happy to have him, Harbaugh said of Givens. “He’s going to help us. Good speed guy, got a lot of talent. We’re always looking for more weapons.”
However, Smith (29 catches, 373 yards, two touchdowns) has been the Ravens’ biggest wide receiver weapon by far. For the first time since Smith joined the Ravens in 2014, they will try to win without him.