Week 2 of Baltimore Ravens training camp wraps up today. While many players progressed during practice drills this week, others weren’t so fortunate and were injured during practice. The Ravens are diligently working to fill in the holes.
The biggest blow to the team was tight end Dennis Pitta breaking his hand during padded practice on Monday. An MRI confirmed the break and he underwent surgery on Tuesday. He is expected back the first week of the regular season.
The Ravens added tight end Billy Bajema to help fill the void left by Pitta. Bajema played with the St. Louis Rams the last three seasons and he will compete with Davon Drew for a roster spot. Drew spent the last two seasons on the Ravens practice squad.
Tight end Ed Dickson is getting the majority of the reps and is also fighting for a roster spot. The team hopes that he will step up and connect with Flacco this season.
Other notable injuries include center Matt Birk. He was held out of camp due to back spasms and could miss the first pre-season game on Thursday. They are holding him out of camp to keep him fresh, head coach John Harbaugh believes he will return after Thursday’s pre-season game.
“Matt has had the back spasms, but I am going to probably slow him down a little bit more, especially this week and then maybe next week after the game we will get him back a little bit more,” Harbaugh said.
Cornerback Jimmie Smith left practice early Thursday and missed Friday’s practice due to a back injury. According to coach Harbaugh, Smith needs a short time to heal; then he’ll be back:
“Jimmy’s back locked up,” Harbaugh said. “It’s all muscular. It’s stuff that happened to him in college before. It takes a couple days usually for that to loosen up.”
Top 2012 draft pick, linebacker Courtney Upshaw, was out all week because of a shoulder injury he suffered during last Saturday’s practice. The bruised shoulder needs time to heal and the Ravens hope he is back soon and able to play in Thursday’s game.
On the mend and back at camp is offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. McKinnie missed the start of training camp due to a back injury he suffered at home in Florida and Ngata tweaked his hamstring during conditioning and was held out of camp.
Both players passed the conditioning test on Friday and practiced with the team for the first time at training camp.
Unfortunately injuries are a part of the game, but the Ravens are good at moving the pieces around to compensate for their injured players. I have faith in their ability to fill in the holes. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the injured players heal quickly and can rejoin the team at camp.