By Samuel Njoku
The Ravens have had a slow start to the 2013 season. Because of this they’ve placed themselves into quite the predicament. With 5 other sub .500 teams vying for a position in the playoffs, the Ravens find themselves in must win territory in Week 11. The health of the team will be extremely important as the second half of the season gets underway.
Of course with the Ravens current struggles on offense, they’ll need their defense to pick up the slack. But they may be a hard task to accomplish with a large number of the players on defense being banged up. For starters, Haloti Ngata is dealing with a knee injury he suffered last week against Cincinnati. Ngata has dealt with injuries throughout his career so it’s no surprise to see him on the injury report yet again. He hasn’t practiced at all this week and is currently a game-time decision for Sunday.
Daryl Smith is another player on who appears to be banged up. He’ll also be a game-time decision as he deals with a nagging thigh injury that has plagued him for a few weeks. Smith has been one of the major bright spots on the defensive side of the ball and having him away could make things difficult as Baltimore tries to contain Matt Forte. If Smith is unable to play, Josh Bynes would likely get the start opposite Jameel McClain.
With one of the premier wide receivers on the field in Brandon Marshall, the Ravens can’t afford to have any setbacks in the secondary. But with 75% of the starting secondary listed as questionable, the task of shutting him down may be a little more complicated. Both Ihedigbo and Jimmy Smith were limited in practice all week dealing with injuries they’ve had for a couple of weeks. Lardarius Webb was able to get some practice for the game on a limited basis on Friday after being completely away from the practice field on Wednesday and Thursday. Barring any setbacks, all of them are expected to play.
The Ravens aren’t the only team dealing with injuries as Chicago is currently dealing with three huge losses on their roster. Starting QB Jay Cutler has been ruled out of Sunday’s game with an ankle injury. LB Lance Briggs has also been ruled out with a shoulder injury. Bears CB Charles Tillman was also recently placed on IR with a torn triceps.
Baltimore Ravens Injury Report
WR Marlon Brown (knee)
S James Ihedigbo (toe)
DT Haloti Ngata (knee)
LB Daryl Smith (thigh)
CB Jimmy Smith (groin)
CB Lardarius Webb (groin)
DE Chris Canty (knee)
RB Bernard Pierce (toe/knee)
WR Brandon Stokley (thigh)
LB Terrell Suggs (neck)
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Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. Samuel Njoku is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.