OWINGS MILLS – Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith gets around on a stand-up scooter these days, but still knows how to be a difference maker.
Smith was one of many players shopping with Baltimore area youngsters Monday, helping the Ravens with their 11th annual Holiday Helpers event. Ravens helped kids at the Target of Owings Mills, acting as their personal helpers as they went on a shopping spree for their families.
Smith refused to discuss his future, and whether he planned to retire or return to the Ravens next season. Due to surgery on his torn Achilles, Smith’s injured leg was elevated as he moved around the store on a personalized scooter. Smith said it had been difficult needing help with everyday tasks.
“It’s been a real challenge because of the helplessness that I’ve felt, and I say the burden I’ve put on my wife,” Smith said. “We have an 18-month old, and a 36-year-old that needs help with things. For the first two weeks, just getting clothes off and doing all that stuff was difficult, because I had a cast. I had a bag over my leg to take a shower. The first seven days I didn’t even leave the house.
“It’s been tough. If this event was three weeks ago, I wouldn’t be as smiling. I was down and depressed, feeling a certain way.”
However, Smith was talking trash as he shopped. He has an ongoing battle with Ravens running back Justin Forsett about which player is taller. Smith told the kids shopping with Forsett, “Let me know if you need help getting something that’s high up on the shelves. He (Forsett) can’t reach it.”
While Smith was having fun, he also asked kids to think about others in their family as they shopped.
“We’re not only giving them an opportunity to shop, we’re also telling them, “Hey, you got any other family members that you think you can help out, that need something?”’ Smith said. “We got one kid, he was like, ‘Oh, I want to get a watch for my grandmother.’ Those are the important things, for him to get this opportunity, but to also be selfless. What else can I do for someone else?”
Smith was asked what one thing he wanted for Christmas.
“A healthy Achilles,” Smith said.
An early Christmas present for Ravens’ fans would be for Smith to announce that he plans to return next season. But if that announcement is coming, it will have to wait.