The Ravens’ injury toll didn’t just include the 16, now 14, players on injured reserve.
Baltimore had a whopping 15 players on their injury report last week and quite literally limped into a much-needed bye week.
The good news is the extra rest should result in Baltimore’s healthiest roster since the start of the season, giving more reason for hope that the Ravens can get on a second-half run.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said the Ravens should be “pretty much full-steam ahead” after the bye.
“Timing is very good. Maybe a week or two earlier even would have been good timing, with the fact that we’ve had some of the injuries,” he said Monday. “I spoke to the team today about it, and there’s a little bit of excitement in the sense that we’re going to get some guys back.”
Here’s an update on some of the key players that will benefit most from the extra time off (players will be on a break from Thursday to Sunday):
RB Danny Woodhead
Recovery: Woodhead was placed on injured reserve after going down on the Ravens’ first offensive series of the 2017 series. The injury was originally reported as a four-to-six-week recovery, but Baltimore placed him on IR to save a roster spot and give him extra rest to make sure he’s ready to go. Woodhead returned to practice last week and is eligible to play in the Ravens’ next game in Green Bay.
How he’ll help: One of the Ravens’ two primary offensive problems is they simply aren’t extending drives with enough first downs. Woodhead is a matchup nightmare who has a knack for finding the chains. He should add more explosiveness to the short passing game, including swing passes, screens and dump-offs.
Quote: “I’m feeling good, but understand there’s a process. I’m taking it day-to-day.”
RB Terrance West
Recovery: West suffered a calf injury in the Ravens’ Week 5 game in Oakland. On Tuesday, he revealed that he pulled his hamstring during the first week of training camp, then got a contusion in the regular-season opener. West returned to practice for the first time in a month Tuesday.
How he’ll help: West was the starting running back before he went down. It remains to be seen how he’ll be used when he returns, however, as Alex Collins has seized the lead role and Woodhead is the backfield’s primary receiver. Javorius Allen has been solid in West’s absence as well. West was averaging 3.5 yards per carry before his injury. He still leads the team in rushing touchdowns (two).
Quote: “This is the first time all year I’ve felt healthy. I’ve still got to get going. It’s my first day back, but a good head start for next week. Whenever my number is called, I have to take advantage of the opportunity.”
TE Nick Boyle
Recovery: Boyle suffered the injury during the Ravens’ 40-0 win over the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 26. He didn’t practice at all last week and was held out for the first time this season.
How he’ll help: Harbaugh called Boyle a “centerpiece” in the Ravens run game, which stumbled in Tennessee without him. The 6-foot-4, 270-pound tight end prides himself on his run blocking, and is used in a variety of ways by Greg Roman’s run schemes to create angles and gaps. He’s also been effective as a play-action receiving target on occasion.
Quote: “[This bye week] will help me tremendously. I think it’s good timing for me and will allow me to get healthy and go back out there and play.”
OLB Tim Williams
Recovery: Williams has missed the last four games because of a hamstring injury. He also said he’s lost between 30 and 40 pounds since training camp and feels faster.
How he’ll help: The rookie fourth-round pick was flashing his pass-rush potential before the injury. He blew by veteran Pro Bowl Browns left tackle Joe Thomas in Week 2. Williams had five quarterback hurries on 36 pass-rush snaps, per Pro Football Focus.
Quote: “I’m just ready for the second half because I feel better, feel healthier, and that my legs are under me now.”
CB Jimmy Smith
Injury: Achilles tendonitis
Recovery: Smith has been dealing with Achilles soreness for a good chunk of the season. The Ravens started spelling him in games in Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and began missing practice time the following week. He’s played the majority of the defensive snaps since exiting after just seven snaps (and a 54-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown) in Oakland, but still wasn’t 100 percent. He played in 35 of the 52 snaps in Tennessee.
How he’ll help: Smith is already playing at a Pro Bowl level, but additional time off to let the Achilles settle down should only help him be even faster and more explosive.
LT Ronnie Stanley
Recovery: Stanley has been dealing with a shoulder injury the past two weeks. He missed four snaps against Miami and was limited in practice the entire following week. Stanley then took another shot to the shoulder in Tennessee when he peeled back on a screen pass to lower his shoulder into a Titans defender. He went to the turf and missed 10 snaps before returning to finish the game.How he’ll help:Stanley is the Ravens’ best blocker, and he’s even better when he’s 100 percent. It would be a very tough blow to Baltimore’s already banged-up offensive line if Stanley were to miss games.