When Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh handed out game balls after the team's 20-10 playoff-clinching victory over the Cleveland Browns, he surprisingly gave one to a guy you rarely hear about unless he makes a big mistake. Rookie long snapper Morgan Cox received a game ball not for any big play he made, but for his grit, determination and personal sacrifice.
On placekicker Billy Cundiff's second field goal of the game, Cox tore his ACL and sprained his MCL. He played the rest of the game, more than a half, with his leg wrapped and in constant pain. He snapped on the extra point after halftime when the Ravens scored on their first possession and for all of Sam Koch's punts. Despite that fact that RB Willis McGahee is the backup long snapper on the Ravens depth chart, Cox limped out there for the rest of the game before being seen on crutches and due for season-ending surgery once the game eneded.
Former Ravens long snapper Matt Katula was cut during Training Camp but was signed by the New England Patriots and is obviously not available. The team is auditioning for the position as we speak and will have a replacement on the roster and ready by gametime Sunday when the Ravens host the Cincinnati Bengals in the regular season finale before turning their attention to where they will play in the post season.
However, do not underestimate the importance of this very obscure and rarely mentioned position, as chemistry is usually the key to success, so cross your fingers that this issue does not become...an issue.