Bye Comes At 'Perfect Time' For Ravens


There's never a bad time for a bye.

The Ravens just aren't used to it coming so late in the year.

Baltimore has never had such a late bye week under Head Coach John Harbaugh (since 2008). The last time it was so late was in 2001, when it fell on Week 13.

Only two teams (Steelers and Panthers) have a later bye than the Ravens this season.

"What's the right time? You can't plan a bye. Do you like them early? Do you like them late?" Harbaugh asked on Monday. "I think for our team right now, I'd say it's really a good time to have it.

"It's coming right at the right time for us, and we should come back and fresh and strong and ready to go."

The Ravens are in good position heading into the break, despite being tied for last place.

After a 21-7 win against the Tennessee Titans, Baltimore is 6-4 and sits just a half-game out of the Cleveland Browns, who are 6-3. The Ravens snapped a two-game skid just in time for their break.

"We're 6-4, so we're happy we won [Sunday]," tight end Owen Daniels said. "I think we're still a little angry we're not 7-3 or 8-2, but you can't change that at this point. It's a tight race. We're going to get fresh and those teams still have to play each other a few times."

While all of the Ravens could use some rest and relaxation, some may need it more than others.

Center Jeremy Zuttah left Sunday's game for one play due to an ankle injury. Wide receiver Michael Campanaro (thigh) and guard Marshal Yanda (knee) are two other players who were on last week's injury report. On Monday, Harbaugh said he has his "fingers crossed" that Campanaro can return after the bye.

"This bye week comes at a pretty good time," Zuttah said after Sunday's win. "I'll be alright. I don't like to miss games. I don't do that."

"Man, this bye is right on time," added 35-year-old receiver Steve Smith Sr. who posted a season-low 17 receiving yards against the Titans. "It's not too late, it's not too early. It's perfect timing."

The Ravens players were excused after meetings on Monday but the coaches will stick around a little longer to do a thorough self-evaluation and begin early game plans for not only the New Orleans Saints, who are next on the schedule, but all the remaining teams they have yet to play.

With the AFC North still entirely up in the air, Baltimore knows the next six games will determine the outcome of the regular season.

"We have the opportunity to get some guys healthy, get rested up," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs added. "When we come back, we have six games left – three home, three away – and we're feeling very optimistic about them."

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