The rash of injuries that has decimated the Ravens is undeniable: During the Ravens’ stunning 33-30 overtime loss to Cleveland on Sunday, the Ravens lost three cornerbacks, linebacker Elvis Dumervil and starting running back Justin Forsett.
And that was after the Ravens were already without top receiver Steve Smith, linebacker Terrell Suggs, defensive end Chris Canty and tight end Crockett Gillmore. Meanwhile, top draft pick Breshad Perriman still hasn’t played a down.
But even as the losses mount – the Ravens are 1-4 for the first time in franchise history – the Ravens say they won't use the injuries as an excuse.
“No excuse,” cornerback Jimmy Smith said. “The next man has got to stand up. We practice this all the time, so it’s no excuse.”
At one point against the Browns, the Ravens had lost three cornerbacks – Will Davis, Lardaruis Webb and Kyle Arrington. That left rookie Tray Walker – who had not played a defensive snap all season – as the nickel back.
Quarterback Joe Flacco, who had to run the Ravens offense without his top receiver (Smith), his top tight end (Gillmore), and, in overtime, his top running back, said injuries are “just part of the game, and you can’t use that as an excuse.”
“It’s not fun, but it’s part of the game,” defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan said. “We just have to be better as a whole. Everybody has to be ready to play when their number is called.”
“At the end of the day, everyone gets paid. ... Your rank on the depth chart doesn’t matter. You have to be ready to go.”
“If you come in the game, you’re a starter,” safety Kendrick Lewis said .”If a starter goes down, that’s part of the game. Injuries are a part of the game.”
And they are a major part of the Ravens narrative this season, a season that has spiraled downward faster than anyone could have imagined a month ago.
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