The Ravens’ good news rolled into Monday, as an MRI confirmed that cornerback Jimmy Smith has just a Grade-2 sprained knee instead of something far worse.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said the injury will hold Smith out for “multiple weeks.”
“It’s not going to be a season-ender by any stretch,” Harbaugh said. “How many weeks it is, that depends on how fast it heals.”
The Ravens have the option of putting Smith on injured reserve/designated to return, but he wouldn’t be able to play for eight weeks if they went that direction.
“It’s a possibility. I don’t think it’s a probability right now,” Harbaugh said, adding that he hasn’t spoken about that with General Manager Eric DeCosta or Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome.
Smith was injured early in the first quarter when his teammate, linebacker Patrick Onwuasor, flew into his knee while trying to make a tackle. Smith limped off and didn’t return until he was in street clothes on the sideline in the second half.
Second-year cornerback Anthony Averett stepped into Smith’s spot on the outside and saw nearly a full game’s worth of action. The fourth-round pick out of Alabama played 45 defensive snaps, which was 90 percent of the game.
“I think he did well,” Harbaugh said. “He got his legs under him a little bit. He had been playing a lot of special teams and it was hot. I think once he got his sea legs he really played well – tight coverage, did a good job. I was happy.”
Averett was on the wrong side of a 49-yard completion deep down the middle to Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker, but that was more of a nice catch than a lack of good coverage. Averett was in close pursuit and went up for the ball along with Marlon Humphrey.
Averett knocked away a pass later in the game and finished with four tackles. He is one of the team’s fastest players and has good size at 5-foot-11, 184 pounds.
“I always thought he was a solid player,” veteran cornerback Brandon Carr said of Averett. “He has tremendous speed. He’s a guy who just needs an opportunity to go out there and get those reps. Today was a big day for him. We look forward to him going out there and shutting guys down. I’ve been a big fan of his since Day 1.”