By Samuel Njoku

The Ravens are in the midway point of the season and currently sit at 2-6. While Baltimore has struggled through the first half of the season, they ended with a much needed win against the San Diego Chargers. With one of the worst records in the NFL, what will be the Ravens approach to the bye week this season?

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Is Steve Smith done in the NFL?

The Ravens may have won their second game of the season on Sunday, but the mood in the locker room was far from jubilant. That’s because one of their leaders, Steve Smith, tore his Achilles tendon and is out for the season. Before the season, Steve Smith announced that he would be retiring following the end of this year’s campaign. But with the way the season has gone, coupled with his sudden injury, talk of returning for another season has crept into the minds of many fans.

Steve Smith isn’t considering retiring because of lack of skill — just ask him. He’ll be more than happy to tell you he’s one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Smith is leaving the game because of obligations he feels he owes to his family. But Steve Smith doesn’t want to leave the game with a towel over his face while being helped into the locker room. It’s still possible that Steve Smith will come back to finish his Hall of Fame career the right way.

Ravens fans have reason for optimism

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The Ravens are 2-6. Their defense couldn’t stop a nose-bleed, and the Ravens receivers are struggling. But talk to folks around the organization, and they have not thrown in the towel on the 2015 season. That may seem absurd considering they are 4 games out of .500 midway through the season. But if you take a look at their schedule, it’s clear where the optimism is coming from. The beginning of the Ravens schedule was brutal with West Coast trips on back to back weeks — twice. The second half of the season is more favorable. 5 of the next 7 games are in M&T Bank Stadiums. The Ravens are currently only 3 games back of the second wild card spot and have favorable matchups the next 4 games before hosting Seattle.

Of course the Ravens can really only afford to lose one more game to have any chance of making the postseason. With the way tie-breakers are set up, that loss will probably need to come against an NFC team. Realistically, it’s a long shot that the Ravens make the playoffs. But if fans want some hope to grab onto following a much needed win, the strength of schedule during the second half of the season might just do the trick.

Ravens to work out receivers during bye week

With the loss of Steve Smith, the Ravens are in desperate need of a wide receiver for Joe Flacco. Fortunately for Baltimore, Smith’s injury came at a time where they can bring someone in and have enough time to acclimate him to the offense. There are a number of viable options for the Ravens to bring in. This includes wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Reggie Wayne. None have drank the potion that Steve Smith uses to play at a high level given his age, but they have the experience Baltimore loses with the loss of their primary receiver. Whoever they decide to bring in, the other receivers on the roster will need to step their game up in order to pick 

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.

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