Ravens lose rookie defensive end Kaufusi for season

August 04, 2016 | Luke Jones

(Photo courtesy of BaltimoreRavens.com)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A week into training camp, the Ravens have suffered their first season-ending injury of the summer as rookie defensive end Bronson Kaufusi broke his left ankle on Thursday.

Kaufusi, 25, sustained the injury when another player fell into his lower leg during a “thud” drill in which players aren’t supposed to go to the ground. The third-round pick from Brigham Young could not put any weight on the leg and left the field on a cart midway through the morning session.

“You do everything you can to keep players off the ground, but sometimes guys fall and that’s what happened with Bronson,” Harbaugh said. “I’m sure he’ll be out for the year.”

The 6-foot-6, 285-pound defensive lineman was competing with veterans Lawrence Guy and Brent Urban for playing time at the 5-technique defensive end position after veteran Chris Canty was cut in the offseason. Kaufusi had been mostly working with the second and third defensive units over the first week of training camp.

He missed spring workouts and June’s minicamp with a back injury.

“It will be an opportunity for him to take the next year and go to work on his body, go to work and become a mature NFL football player physically,” Harbaugh said. “He’s young. He needs a lot of work on his lower body, strength-wise and flexibility-wise.

“He was playing well, but he’s only going to be better next year.”

Kaufusi’s absence will likely improves the roster chances of fourth-year defensive lineman Kapron Lewis-Moore, who has had a good start to the summer.

This marks the third straight season in which the Ravens have dealt with at least one serious injury at the 5-technique spot during training camp. Urban suffered a torn ACL and Lewis-Moore tore his Achilles tendon in 2014, and the former tore his biceps last summer before eventually returning to action in November.

In 50 career games at BYU, Kaufusi started 37 games and accumulated 26 1/2 sacks, five forced fumbles, and two interceptions.

INJURY NOTES: Cornerback Will Davis (knee) and running back Kenneth Dixon (knee) both returned to the practice field on Thursday with the latter only working on a limited basis. … Safety Lardarius Webb and wide receiver Michael Campanaro received the day off. … Wide receivers Steve Smith (Achilles), Breshad Perriman (knee), and Chris Moore (foot), running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot), cornerback Maurice Canady, linebackers Terrell Suggs (Achilles) and Elvis Dumervil (foot), tight ends Crockett Gillmore (hamstring) and Dennis Pitta (finger), and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (ribs) remained out of practice.