Baltimore Ravens: Injury Bug Still Looming Around


John Harbaugh did an amazing job taking the Baltimore Ravens back to playoffs coming off a season in which they battled so many injuries. The Ravens placed 19 players on injured reserve in 2014, which was seventh-most in the NFL. The 19 players with season-ending injuries was the most during Harbaugh’s tenure in Baltimore.

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Saying that they were hit hard with injuries is an understatement. The Ravens were hoping that a new season would bring new luck on the injury front. Instead, the team has seen two players injured in May, and the “fun” starts all over.

The Ravens lost Michael Campanaro on the first day of organized team activities. He injured his hamstring on Wednesday, and will be evaluated more thoroughly to find out if the injury is just a strain or a tear. He was hoping to carve out a role as a slot receiver, but he needs to stay on the field to do so. Campanaro has a history of hamstring issues which limited him to just four games in his rookie season.

To add to the bad omen of injuries for the Ravens, undrafted rookie free agent Julian Wilson broke his leg in rookie minicamp. Wilson was one of the more highly regarded undrafted free agents brought in by Ozzie Newsome, but the cornerback is the latest player in the secondary to go down to a leg injury in less than a season for the Ravens.

The cornerback position was a never ending cycle of shuffling players in and out last season. The biggest blow was to starter Jimmy Smith, and the team struggled with consistency at the position once he was ruled out for the season. Asa Jackson, Aaron Ross, Danny Gorrer and Tramain Jacobs also joined Smith on injured reserve with a variety of leg injuries. Jackson (PCL injury) is likely to return to the Ravens this season, and Jacobs (thigh) has an outside chance of making the club also. Gorrer and Ross are currently free agents.

Terrence Brooks tore his ACL and MCL late last season and could miss the entire 2015 season. The third-round pick from last season was hurt covering a kickoff against the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. He will start the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, hoping to make a late season return.

Then there were the injuries to the rest of the roster.

Arthur Brown, the team’s second-round pick in 2013 failed to see a single snap on defense this past season because of a hamstring injury. Kapron Lewis-Moore and Brent Urban are coming back from injuries, and the hope is one can step up to be the defensive end of the future. Both should be a full go in OTAs, according to Ryan Mink of 

Ricky Wagner was the rated the No. 2 right tackle by Pro Football Focus, before a foot injury placed him on injured reserve at the tail end of the season. Wagner has been reported to miss most of the offseason work, but should be ready when the Ravens open the season against the Denver Broncos.

Long snappers are often laughed at in the league, until he gets hurt and you realize how important the position really is. Morgan Cox injured his ACL halfway through the season, and his replacements, Kevin McDermott and Patrick Scales, didn’t fare well at times as his replacement.

Then there is the biggest question mark of them all: Dennis Pitta. The team continues to have hope that he will make a comeback after two crippling hip injuries. The team has protected itself by selecting two tight ends in the draft, but would welcome back the veteran with open arms.

Add two offseason surgeries to the list in C.J. Mosley and Jeremy Zuttah, and that is enough injured players to field an entire starting team. Both will be limited in OTAs, but should be good to go by training camp.

The cliché in all sports is that when one man goes down, the next guy needs to step up. The Ravens were a perfect example of that last season by not letting injuries be an excuse not to make the playoffs. That is not to say Harbaugh wants to go through that circus. It would be nice to not to deal with that headache again.

Injuries are a part of the game in football, but the Ravens have also had some really bad luck with them in the past year. The good thing is knowing that they have proved that they can prevail despite who is on the field. That is why Harbaugh and his bunch are considered one of the best franchises in the NFL.

Next: Ravens Day One OTA News

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