Jimmy Smith injury will test Ravens secondary early in season
According to reports, Jimmy Smith has a knee sprain and he will miss multiple weeks. This will test the Baltimore Ravens secondary against some accomplished passing attacks:
The Baltimore Ravens have a battles lined up with the Arizona Cardinals and the Kansas City Chiefs and they won’t have Jimmy Smith in the secondary. In their tie with the Detroit Lions, the Arizona Cardinals had 54 passing attempts. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes ,was the MVP of the league last year. The secondary was going to be tested one way or another, yet this makes it more of a challenge.
The Ravens don’t know when Smith is going to be back, however they know that it will be a while. The Ravens cornerback group was built on the premise that the combination of Marlon Humphrey, Brandon Carr and Smith is a dominant combination. With Smith being gone, the Ravens still have two strong starting cornerbacks.
If it weren’t for Tavon Young‘s season ending injury, this wouldn’t be that big of a problem for the secondary. The problem is that the front end of the Ravens cornerback group is way more impressive than the bottom of the depth chart. Anthony Averett should see an increased role in the secondary. That could go either way because the Ravens have such a small sample of play from Averett.
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The silver lining here, is that it get’s Averett a chance to get more on the job training, in his second season. If Averett steps his game up, the secondary will be even more respectable when Smith returns to the action. The Ravens are going to find out exactly how good Averett is.
Baltimore has to make it through at least the next two games without Smith. After the week 3 battle with the Chiefs the Ravens have back to back contests with division rivals. The Cleveland Browns didn’t look impressive in their 42-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans, however their wide receivers remain a big deal. The Steelers passing attack was dismal against the Patriots, yet Ben Roethlisberger always has to be taken seriously.
The Chiefs may not be at full strength when they face the Ravens in week 3. Tyreek Hill was injured in their season opener against the Jaguars. If Hill misses the game, it will be a much more significant scratch for the Chiefs, than the Ravens playing without Smith.
Smith’s absence will be felt, but it doesn’t change the outlook for the purple and black. They are coming off a dominant week 1 performance and have a chance to start the season incredibly strong. Earl Thomas III showed great range at the free safety position. Marlon Humphrey had a week one interception. The Ravens secondary is formidable with or without Smith.
The Cardinals had seven players with a reception against the Lions. Five of those players caught at least four passes. The Cardinals aren’t lacking weapons and they plan on throwing the ball a lot. Kyler Murray is one week into his NFL career and he already has a 300 yard game to his name. The Cardinals passing attack will be an interesting test for the Ravens. If the Ravens get past the Cardinals without too much trouble, the Smith injury may not provide much of a hurdle for the team.