The Ravens have suffered their first serious injury of training camp.
Rookie defensive end Bronson Kaufusi broke his ankle during Thursday's practice when a teammate fell into his leg, and the third-round pick is expected to miss the entire season.
The injury happened during a passing play where Kaufusi was engaged in a block with an offensive lineman. As he pushed the blocker into the backfield, a teammate fell into his leg and collapsed the ankle. He was carted off the field.
"You try to avoid that," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "You do everything you can to keep players off the ground, but sometimes guys fall. That's what happened with Bronson."
Losing a player in training camp is always a tough blow, and it's particularly difficult for a rookie who had yet to make it [add] to a preseason game. The Ravens had high hopes this year for Kaufusi, who was participating in just his seventh NFL practice after missing the offseason with a back issue.
"He was playing well, but he's only going to be better next year," Harbaugh said. "We'll get him in the weight room. We'll get him with our coaches, and he'll be a much better player a year from now than he would have been this year."
Kaufusi was expected to make an immediate impact as a pass rusher, but the Ravens are deep enough at the defensive end position to absorb the loss. They still have Brent Urban, Lawrence Guy and Kapron Lewis-Moore, who have all been solid in training camp. Guy started six games last year.
As Harbaugh made the announcement about Kaufusi, he pointed to Urban walking off the field. Urban suffered a torn ACL during the first week of his rookie training camp and missed the entire season. He then tore his bicep in last year's training camp and missed the first 10 games.
Now Urban is competing with Guy for the starting defensive end spot.
"He went through it two years in a row," Harbaugh said. "That's part of the game, that's part of football, and it happens for a reason in my opinion. You have to look at it that way.
"You have to look at it that it happened for a reason and it's an opportunity, and then you have to make the most of it."