The Baltimore Ravens notched their 10th win of the season, moving to 10–3 coming off their bye week after winning an overtime matchup 37–31 against the visiting Los Angeles Rams (6-7) in Week 14 thanks to backup-punt-returner-turned-hero Tylan Wallace scoring a walk-off, 76-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Although the win helped Baltimore overtake all other AFC franchises on their way to closing the weekend in possession of the No. 1 seed in the AFC (pending the outcome of the Miami Dolphins' Monday Night Football game) the Ravens might have endured a big-time loss yesterday.
That's because of sophomore starting safety and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Kyle Hamilton's injury in the third quarter of the win against the Rams.
Hamilton was forced out of the game in the period immediately after halftime after his left knee buckled awkwardly in a contact play in which he was mildly hit by a Ravens offensive player leading to a weird landing and the bending of his knee (h/t Kevin Oestreicher for sharing the clip).
An MRI is scheduled for Monday, which is expected to determine the extent of the injury, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Despite Hamilton initially returning to the game getting banged up multiple times on Sunday, the safety was eventually ruled out for the remainder of the game.
There is no information about how bad the injury he sustained is and how much time (if any) he might miss going forward, but there is a certain fear of it being a rather impactful one.
There is no sugarcoating this development. Hamilton has been a standout performer for the Ravens this season, was (and we hope, is still) in contention for the DPOY award, and he's reached that point by racking up two interceptions, one forced fumble, three sacks, nine passes defended, 62 tackles, and a defensive touchdown through Week 14.
While the Ravens can't complain about their overall situation, currently leading the AFC and their division comfortably, the truth is that any injury this late in the season can simply rule a team out of true contention if it's impactful enough, as there is no time to fix any glaring hole entering the last weeks of the regular season.
Baltimore has navigated early-season injury woes incredibly but any loss of the magnitude of this one could simply cancel out everything they've done to date and leave them in the cold. Here's hoping Hamilton has avoided any mid-to-long-term damage and that he's available to play as soon as possible.
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