Steve Smith out for season following Achilles’ tendon tear


Nov 1, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens players react as wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. (89) lays on the ground in the third quarter against the San Diego Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Smith Sr. has been the heart and soul of the Baltimore Ravens’ offense for the last season and a half, and was by far their most important player through this season thus far.  After suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon following a catch and run against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, things are looking a lot worse for the now 2-6 Ravens.

It’s horrible news not only for the Ravens, who are perilously thin at the wide receiver position, but also for Smitty, who had previously announced that 2015 would be his final NFL season.  After a stellar career, we can only hope that this won’t be the end for the 36 year old, who also cracked the all-time top ten receivers list before going down.

It was quite obvious that the injury was bad as soon as Smith hit the ground, tapped his leg, and pointed to the sidelines.  Ravens head coach John Harbaugh didn’t waste any time confirming the gruesome diagnosis after the game’s conclusion.

Achilles’ tears are tough injuries for NFL players to come back from, particularly when you’re 36 years old like Smitty.  We wouldn’t even dream of betting against him at this point, if he was to reconsider his retirement plans.  But in the meantime, how do the Ravens compensate for such a massive loss?

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It would be ideal if rookie Breshad Perriman, who has yet to play this season, could come out of next week’s bye ready to roll.  But that’s a complete unknown considering how long his (originally diagnosed as a “sprain”) leg will take to heal.  So we’ll focus on the players we know are healthy.

The good news is, we saw an expanded role for Chris Givens (3 catches on 4 targets, 57 yards) and Jeremy Ross (3 catches on 6 targets for 21 yards) this week.  Kamar Aiken is obviously stretched as a number one receiver, but he has played fairly well the last few weeks and caught all 6 of his targets Sunday for 62 yards.

The Ravens aren’t going to get much out of Marlon Brown, who has essentially been phased out of the offense (0 catches, 1 target this week).  Now would appear to be the perfect time to take a longer look at fan favorite Jeremy Butler, who was promoted from the practice squad last week but was inactive this week.

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Steve Smith obviously can’t be replaced, so the Ravens will look to spread the ball around and give everyone a chance at emerging.  The team already knows what it has in Aiken and Brown, so it’s a good bet that the roles of Givens, Ross, and Butler will continue to grow.