As Head Coach John Harbaugh said, the Ravens were "counting on" second-year defensive end Brent Urban to break out this year.
With Urban now on the shelf for at least 12-14 weeks, and possibly a second straight entire season lost, the Ravens have to find somebody to take his snaps.
"We're really deep in the D-line, so I like the guys we have," said. "It's a deep group, and I'm really confident those guys will step up."
One player who will almost assuredly see more time is veteran defensive end Chris Canty. The Ravens waived Canty, then re-signed him at a lower price, this offseason.
Canty played 423 snaps last year, down from 579 the previous season. The Ravens wanted to take even more off the 11-year pro's plate with Urban. Now it seems Canty will likely see as many snaps as last season if he stays healthy.
The good news is Harbaugh still sees juice in Canty's 32-year-old legs.
"Chris Canty is playing like a kid. He's running around out there," Harbaugh said. "I saw him chasing down a crack toss. He came under a block and was picking up his knees and chasing the thing down the line of scrimmage like he was 23 years old again. He looks good."
Besides Canty, there isn't any other player on the roster that fits Urban's 6-foot-7 mold. The Ravens have other defensive ends, but they're not nearly as big. Thus, it could be a mixture of defensive ends and defensive tackles that help fill the void.
The list of top contenders includes defensive ends Kapron Lewis-Moore, Christo Bilukidi, and DeAngelo Tyson, and defensive tackles Lawrence Guy and Carl Davis.
Lewis-Moore is an interesting candidate because he, like Urban, is coming off a season-ending injury suffered in last year's training camp. The 2013 sixth-round pick tore his Achilles last summer after spending his rookie year on injured reserve from a torn ACL suffered at the end of his college career.
Lewis-Moore and Urban rehabilitated together all offseason.
"Kapron has done well," Harbaugh said. "He looks physical. He's moving better every day. He looks a little … He's a rugged guy. I think [his] change of direction and flexibility have improved every day, and he looks pretty darn good right now."
Bilukidi and Tyson are the most experienced options to fill the void. Tyson is entering his fourth season with the team and coming off his biggest year yet, in which he started four of 11 games he played in and logged 21 tackles and one sack.
Bilukidi, who the Ravens picked off waivers last year after he was cut by the Bengals, is the closest in size to Urban at 6-foot-5, 310 pounds. The fourth-year veteran played in four games last year and made three tackles.
Guy is entering his second season with the Ravens after an impressive first campaign with the team. He played in 11 games and made one start, logging 16 tackles. He plays like a Raven with a bit of a nasty streak on the field.
Then there's the rookie, third-round pick Davis. When asked on Friday, the day after Urban injured his arm, whether it looked like Davis would be able to contribute on defense this year, Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said, "I don't think he is going to; he has to. We're expecting him to."
Davis is a big-bodied 6-foot-5, 320-pound product out of Iowa. He's a mauler, but he needs to improve his technique. Still, he's been getting increased reps in practice because he has been doing well and showing his strength.
"I still think he's a big puppy as far as his body," Harbaugh said. "He's a big one like those big dogs. They're still big, but he's in the process of sharpening up his edges a little bit, and to me, he's going to do that. He's a talented guy, and he really works hard."
Fellow defensive tackle Brandon Williams said Davis reminds him of himself as a rookie.
"Carl Davis is definitely a raw, great player," Williams said. "He definitely needs work, like I did in my rookie year, but at the same time you can see him getting it. He's getting it slowly but surely."