OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With the Ravens back to work after their Week 5 bye, some optimism had existed that cornerback Jimmy Smith would return against the Houston Texans on Sunday after injuring his left ankle early in the regular-season opener against Pittsburgh on Sept. 11.
Apparently, the Ravens will have to wait a little longer to get their top draft pick back on the field — even if coach John Harbaugh wasn’t ready to disclose that piece of news.
Smith shared his reservations about playing on Sunday afternoon before the Ravens head coach interrupted the rookie’s interview with gathered media following Monday’s practice. Harbaugh reprimanded Smith for discussing his status and reminded him players are not supposed to comment on injury matters. However, the cornerback had already said enough by the time the interview came to an abrupt end.
“I’m optimistic about everything,” Smith said, “but, realistically, I doubt it.”
Harbaugh said the Ravens are in “wait-and-see” mode with several injured players, but Smith will likely miss his fourth straight game after injuring his ankle in kickoff coverage early in the first quarter of the Pittsburgh game.
“I don’t know the percentage on it,” Harbaugh said in his Monday press conference. “He’s not there yet, that’s for sure. We’ll just have to see throughout the course of the week. I’ve got my fingers crossed. This was the target week, and we’ll just have to see how it goes.”
Smith is progressing in his rehabilitation, but lateral movement is still a concern as the 27th overall pick is unlikely to play against the Texans. He did some running on the field on Monday afternoon during the team’s first workout after the bye week and says he’s getting closer to a return.
The Colorado product had just gotten out of a walking boot in the days leading up to the Ravens’ Sunday night victory over the New York Jets on Oct. 2. The high ankle sprain was the first injury of Smith’s career at any level, according to the 23-year-old.
“I can stand, I can walk,” said Smith, who estimated that his left ankle isn’t 80 percent yet. “That’s what makes it frustrating is the fact that you get healthy, then you hit a wall and you want to push past it. I can’t go out there and try to do something to re-injure myself.”