How Does Owen Daniels’ Injury Hinder the Ravens Offense?


According to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun, Owen Daniels had arthroscopic knee surgery and is out for this Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Daniels became Joe Flacco’s new security blanket after Dennis Pitta re-injured his hip in Week 3. After Pitta went down, Flacco and Daniels began to build solid chemistry on the field. Daniels is second in targets behind only Steve Smith Sr. Last week against the Atlanta Falcons, Daniels dethroned Smith by having nine targets to Smith’s five.

Obviously the big question is how the Ravens will respond to the loss of Dennis Pitta and now Owen Daniels. I think they can make a huge statement if they start quickly against the Bengals like they have the past two weeks. A lot of pressure now falls on the shoulders of Joe Flacco and the run game. The Ravens have plenty of young talent to replace Daniels, most notably the third-round pick out of Colorado State, Crockett Gillmore.

Gillmore hasn’t seen too many snaps thus far, but his play count skyrocketed this past week and will obviously raise even more this week. Gillmore had a standout Senior Bowl performance, which caused him to move up draft boards. When I studied film on Gillmore before the draft, a few things popped out at me on tape. Gillmore first of all has very solid hands. He also finds holes in the defense, and he has the potential to be a quality red zone target in the coming years.

No one is sure how long Daniels will be out, but it is definitely a loss to a Ravens offense which has been very hot of late. I think Kyle Juszczyk will see more snaps, as he is a very versatile player that can line up at tight end as well as his main position, fullback. I would expect Juszczyk to get more targets and have a prevalent role in the offense this week against the Bengals.