The Ravens came away with a narrow 31-29 win against Dallas, but the aftermath of Sunday’s game felt much more like a loss as they lost cornerback Lardarius Webb and linebacker Ray Lewis to serious injuries.
Multiple reports are confirming Webb has been lost for the remainder of the season due to an ACL injury while Lewis’ status remains unclear after the linebacker injured his right triceps in the second half against the Cowboys.
Webb left the game in the first quarter after injuring his left knee while defending a pass completed to Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. After the injury was initially announced as a sprained knee, coach John Harbaugh did not sound optimistic for the star cornerback returning to the field this season.
“Lardarius Webb does not look good right now,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a potential ACL. We’ve got a problem there. We don’t know for sure, but that’s what it looks like right now.”
An MRI confirmed Monday Webb suffered his second ACL injury in three years. The fourth-year cornerback tore the ACL in his right knee in the final month of his rookie season in 2009.
The Ravens sustained a second serious injury in the fourth quarter as Lewis left the field with a right triceps injury. The 37-year-old linebacker could miss the rest of the season depending on the results of an MRI that will determine whether the triceps is torn. A source told WNST.net’s Drew Forrester the recovery time could vary from as little as two weeks to the remainder of the season, depending on the severity of the triceps injury.
“Ray has a triceps [injury], but I don’t think it’s really bad,” said Harbaugh, who later admitted during his post-game press conference that he wasn’t sure how severe the injury was to the inside linebacker. “We’ll have to see on that.”
Fourth-year linebacker Dannell Ellerbe would likely replace Lewis in the starting lineup, but replacing Webb is a more daunting task as many believed the cornerback was having a Pro Bowl season. Second-year defensive back Jimmy Smith would replace Webb in the base defense opposite Cary Williams, but defensive coordinator Dean Pees will likely be forced to turn to special-teams standout Corey Graham to take Webb’s place in the nickel package.
Signed to a six-year, $50 million contract in the offseason, Webb is considered to be excellent against the run and is an effective blitzer from the secondary.
“I’m hurting for that guy right now,” safety Ed Reed said. “I know how hard he works to be out here and what he brings to the game. If we lost him for the year, it’s going to kill us. But, we have to play for him and pick him up because he’s young.”
Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata will undergo an MRI for a sprained MCL, but the knee injury isn’t regarded as serious since the Pro Bowl defensive player returned to action in the second half of Sunday’s game. Cornerback Jimmy Smith (leg) and nose tackle Ma’ake Kemoeatu (knee) also missed time with ailments, but neither injury was regarded as serious after the game.
A silver lining to keep in mind through all the defensive injuries sustained in Sunday’s win is linebacker Terrell Suggs, who is now eligible to return to the practice field after beginning the season the reserve physically unable to perform list while recovering from a partially-torn Achilles tendon sustained in the spring. Suggs has a three-week window to begin practicing before he must be placed on the 53-man roster.
The 10th-year linebacker can be placed on the 53-man roster as early as this week, but many expect the Ravens to wait until after their Week 8 bye to activate Suggs.