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Jimmy Smith Gets a Double Bundle of Joy - a Baby Boy and a Touchdown

Posted Oct 8, 2017

The Ravens cornerback is dealing with a sore Achilles, which flared up when he returned a fumble for a 47-yard touchdown at the start of Sunday's game.

Jimmy Smith had a pretty darn good week.

The Ravens cornerback became father to a second son, Jaylen, earlier this week. Then his lingering Achilles soreness felt good enough to allow him to play in Oakland.

On Sunday, he got the icing on the cake with a fumble recovery and 47-yard touchdown return to give the Ravens a lightning-fast 14-point lead over the Raiders.

“It was truly a blessing. Couldn’t be more excited about that,” Smith said of the birth. “Then coming around for this game and getting a win on the road, it’s huge.”

Smith missed practice Wednesday and Thursday and was listed with an Achilles injury, sending Baltimore into a panic. He does have lingering Achilles soreness, but it wasn’t as serious as previously thought.

Head Coach John Harbaugh was giving him some time off to both rest the Achilles and spend time with his growing family.

Harbaugh said Friday that there was no doubt Smith would play against the Raiders, and he indeed started once again. But Smith’s day didn’t last long – for good reason.

On the Raiders’ first possession of the game, Ravens linebacker Patrick Onwuasor punched the ball out of tight end Jared Cook’s hands, sending the ball bouncing directly to Smith. He scooped it and raced down the sideline.

Smith has a second son, and now he got a second career touchdown. He returned an interception for a touchdown in Denver to open the 2015 season.

“God gave me a gift right there and I returned it,” Smith said.

Unfortunately, Smith felt his Achilles tighten up along the way. Still, he knew he had to get into the end zone.

“There was nobody there,” Smith said. “I don’t know if they would have let me back on the plane if I didn’t return that. It would have been sticky; I would have been on a Greyhound [bus] probably.”

Smith said he knew he couldn’t run as well anymore at that point, so, given a big early lead, the Ravens decided to hold him back throughout the rest of the game.

Baltimore turned to rookie first-round pick Marlon Humphrey, who played exceptionally well in limited, but growing, action during the season’s first quarter. Humphrey held his own once again. He gave up some completions to big-bodied veteran wide receiver Michael Crabtree, but was still sticky in coverage.

“It was definitely fun – going against two Pro Bowl receivers, getting a lot of snaps, and I got my rhythm,” Humphrey said. “I felt good out there, felt relaxed. I had some learning lessons, but I was proud about that.”

“Marlon Humphrey stepped up and played so well, and that’s why we drafted him,” Head Coach John Harbaugh added.

Harbaugh said Smith’s Achilles has been sore for a few weeks and that “it’s a nagging deal right now for him.” Smith said it will “heal up over time.”

The Ravens definitely need their top cornerback for the long-term, but they have great options with Humphrey and veterans Brandon Carr and Lardarius Webb. Raiders quarterback EJ Manuel only completed 13 of 26 passes for 159 yards, and his biggest throws came on broken plays.

After Sunday’s game, the Ravens weren’t too worried about Smith’s injury.

“He had a child and got a touchdown,” Harbaugh said. “Congratulations to Jimmy, that’s a big week. He’s all smiles right now, I’m sure.”

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