The Baltimore Ravens won their second game of the season on Sunday afternoon, bu they also lost something even bigger; Steve Smith.
The veteran wide receiver went down with what appeared to be an Achilles injury late in the third quarter of the Ravens matchup. He didn’t return to the game and, in his post-game press conference, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh confirmed what fans had been worried about for the majority of the afternoon:
Smith had been unable to put any weight on his foot when he left the game, his arms draped around trainers to get off the field.
The veteran wideout had moved into the top-10 on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list earlier in the game and was his team’s leading receiver with 82 yards on five catches when he left.
This isn’t the first injury Smith has suffered this season. He missed one game earlier this season after suffering four microfractures in his back. He was also limited in practice this past week after tweaking his knee.
Earlier this week, the Ravens shut down rumors that they intended to trade Smith, who announced his plans to retire before the start of the season.
The loss is, of course, a major hit for a Ravens offense that has been beleaguered by injuries all season. Smith was one of the most vocal players on the entire Baltimore roster and his absence on the field will certainly be felt. Still, this two-win squad refused to make excuses:
Keep an eye out for Kamar Aiken in particular. The wide receiver stepped in for Smith when he missed the game in October and will likely be one of the biggest targets for Joe Flacco going down this regular season stretch.