Brent Urban Injury Will Test Baltimore Ravens Depth


Last season, it was a variety of leg injuries that plagued the Baltimore Ravens. Jimmy Smith‘s foot. Dennis Pitta‘s hip. Brent Urban‘s knee. Kapron Lewis-Moore‘s Achilles. Name a portion of the lower part of the body, and the Ravens were sure to have someone on injured reserve dealing with the injury.

This year it is bicep injuries that are hurting the Ravens, and unfortunately, it is Urban who is dealing with a major injury once again. Urban tore his biceps muscle in practice and could potentially miss the entire season. It is another major blow to the depth on defense as the Ravens already lost Matt Elam for the season to a bicep injury as well.

The second-year player from Virginia has not been able to stay healthy since being drafted in the fourth round last season, and Head Coach John Harbaugh was expecting big things out of Urban this season.

“He’s a guy that I was really counting on,” said Harbaugh, who confirmed that Urban will have surgery to repair the tear soon. “I thought he would really shine. I still think he will.”

The injury leaves the Ravens with a decision to make. A 12-14 week timetable is the expected recovery time for a torn biceps so Urban could be a contributor down the road. The Ravens could opt to place Urban on injured reserve and end his season or they could designate him to return later on this season. Only one player per team is eligible for the return designation and it will be interesting to see if the Ravens go with Urban or Elam as that guy.

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What made Urban such an intriguing prospect was his incredible size and quickness at 6-foot-7 and 295 pounds. However, injuries continue to haunt him as this is now the fourth significant injury during his young football career. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament as a freshman at Virginia and played just eight games in his senior season with a high ankle sprain in addition to his injuries the past two seasons.

The Ravens really were hoping for one of their young defensive ends to step up, and with Urban likely done for the year, Dean Pees needs someone that will be able to spell Chris Canty whenever necessary. The 32-year-old is still an effective player, but does not have a lot of tread left on his tires.

Fortunately for Baltimore, they are blessed with great depth along the defensive line.  Canty figures to lead the Ravens defensive ends, but Lewis-Moore, DeAngelo Tyson, Lawrence Guy and rookie Carl Davis will all get opportunities at defensive end as well. The staff was so confident in the depth along the line that they were willing to deal Haloti Ngata to the Detroit Lions this offseason.

“We’re really deep in the D-line, so I like the guys we have,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a deep group, and I’m really confident those guys will step up.”

Expect to see the aforementioned names along the defensive line to get a lot of looks this preseason. It would be great if one of the young guys can make the transition to being an every down player to lessen the burden on Canty.

Depth has been one of the reasons many have picked the Ravens to be Super Bowl contenders this season. That depth is being tested already and they still have not played a game yet.

Next: Ravens Veterans Get Day Off, Youngsters Shine

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