OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Without the efforts of Domonique Foxworth, there may not have been an NFL season to talk about this year.
However, the veteran cornerback was unable to save his own.
The Ravens placed Foxworth on injured reserve Wednesday, ending his season after it was becoming more apparent the 28-year-old’s recovery from surgery on a torn ACL last year was not progressing quickly enough for the defensive back to contribute in the secondary. Coach John Harbaugh said the Ravens began discussing the possibility a week ago, and Foxworth was included in the discussion.
In the Ravens’ 37-7 win in St. Louis on Sunday, Foxworth was inactive despite having practiced the entire week.
Foxworth missed the entire 2010 season after tearing the ACL in his right knee at the beginning of training camp on the eve of the first veteran workout in late July. With his heavy involvement in the labor negotiations during the 134-day lockout, Foxworth was unable to devote as much time rehabbing the surgically-repaired knee as a player might have in a regular offseason. His inability to have any contact with the Ravens organization during the work stoppage also impacted his slow recovery.
“There was a chance he could [have been] able to play at some point in time and help us,” Harbaugh said. “We were holding out hope that was the case, but it was moving in the other direction, for whatever reason. So, we just didn’t feel like we could afford to do that right now, especially needing a linebacker.”
The Ravens re-signed linebacker Prescott Burgess to take Foxworth’s place on the 53-man roster.
With Foxworth out for the season and rookie Jimmy Smith still sidelined with a high ankle sprain, the Ravens would like to have another healthy cornerback on the roster if a quality one were available. Baltimore promoted defensive back Danny Gorrer from the practice squad the day before a Week 2 meeting with Tennessee, largely because of the Ravens’ lack of confidence in rookie Chykie Brown at this stage in his career.
Fortunately, veteran Chris Carr returned to action against the Rams after dealing with a hamstring injury for nearly a month and a half.
“We’d probably like to have at least one more corner that is healthy, but we don’t have that luxury right now,” Harbaugh said. “It’s definitely [something] we could address, just depending on what’s available out htere, but I’m comfortable with the guys we have.”
For Foxworth, Wednesday’s news ends a bitterly disappointing season and brings an uncertain future with a large salary cap number for the 2012 season — reportedly upwards of $8 million — after missing nearly two whole seasons of football.
“We’re with him,” said cornerback Lardarius Webb, who had his own ACL injury late in the 2009 season. “We’re going to talk to him. I know he didn’t want to go on IR; he wanted to be here with the team. Certain things, he has to go through. As a teammate, I just want to be there for him.”
Suggs ‘can’t wait’ for Jets
In what has nearly become an absolute whenever the Ravens play a marquee opponent, Terrell Suggs has a great sound byte or even sports a t-shirt to grab the opposition’s attention.
The Pro Bowl linebacker showed up for Wednesday’s podium session wearing the following t-shirt as an ode to Jets and former Ravens linebacker Bart Scott famous ‘Can’t Wait!’ rant following New York’s playoff victory in New England last season.
However, instead of being a move to incite his former teammate, it turns out the t-shirt was sent by Scott to several former teammates as a way to raise funds for paralyzed Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand. Scott ordered t-shirts in both Jets green and Ravens purple in an effort to raise $36,000 for LeGrand.
Putting aside a very worth cause, Suggs was proud to wear the t-shirt and said he couldn’t wait to meet his old teammate and “former mentor” on the field Sunday night. Suggs wasn’t ready to place the rivalry with the Jets on the same level as the one with Pittsburgh, but he admitted it’s not as good-natured as some players and coaches try to make it out to be.
“It’s not as friendly as you think, because come Sunday night, Rex [Ryan] is going to try to beat us,” Suggs said. “Bart is going to try to get after us. It’s going to be the same. It’s going to be a little different [than the Steelers] because it’s a little personal, because they once were here.”
Lewis still not sold on Jets’ success
Linebacker Ray Lewis made it no secret how unimpressed he was with the New York Jets prior to last season’s meeting in the regular-season opener, saying they were overhyped despite the media wanting to crown them champions before the season started.
When asked how he felt a year later after the Jets made their second straight appearance in the conference championship game — and how Ryan had mentioned that in his conference call with the Baltimore media — the 36-year-old leader offered comments similar to the ones made a year ago.
“He was sitting [in] the same place I was sitting, watching the Super Bowl,” Lewis said. “He had to be, because he wasn’t it it. That’s the only thing you can ever talk about. I don’t care how far you go, the ultimate goal is to feel that confetti drop. You can ask the Pittsburgh Steelers. They wouldn’t be proud to go back to a Super Bowl. The bottom line is you have to win a Super Bowl when you get there.”
Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from John Harbaugh, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Andre Gurode, Haruki Nakamura, Lee Evans, Lardarius Webb, Jarret Johnson, and Prescott Burgess prior to Wednesday’s practice.