FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Will losing cornerback Jimmy Smith to an ankle injury be a crushing blow for the Ravens’ defense?
Monday night’s 30-23 loss to the Patriots will only raise concern about how the Ravens will fare defensively if Smith, their best corner, does not recover quickly. Smith left Monday’s game in the second quarter, and coach John Harbaugh would not speculate on how long Smith would be out.
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However, it was clear Smith was in severe pain when he left the game, and the Ravens made some painful defensive mistakes during Tom Brady’s 406-yard, three-touchdown passing performance. Ravens cornerback Jerraud Powers also left the game in the fourth quarter with a concussion, and the Ravens made a huge defensive gaffe that helped seal their doom. Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan was left wide open in the secondary for a 79-yard touchdown, giving the Patriots a 10-point cushion from which the Ravens never recovered.
Ravens safety Eric Weddle took the blame for Hogan’s touchdown, but will there be more big plays surrendered by the Ravens if Smith isn’t part of the mix?
“Obviously when Jimmy goes down it hurts us,” Weddle said. “But Shareece (Wright) came in and played outstanding I thought.”
If Smith is not ready to face the Eagles on Sunday, more pressure will fall on Wright and rookie cornerback Tavon Young to play well, whether or not Powers is healthy for Sunday.
There is never a good time for the Ravens to lose Smith. During December, with the Ravens (7-6) fighting to make the playoffs is a particularly bad time.
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