When the 2011 NFL regular season schedule came out, most people weren't too pleased to see the Baltimore Ravens with such an early Bye week on the schedule. Usually the most preferred time to have than break is halfway through the season for obvious reasons. However, with the walking (and non-walking) wounded list of Ravens rather lengthy, the time off couldn't be coming at a better time.
No less than eight players desperately need the time to heal and get ready for the final three months of the regular season. With two of the team's tougher games on the schedule won and done, getting these players healthy, not only for another tough match-up right off the bat in week six when they host the red-hot Houston Texans, but for the rest of the season seems a distinct possibility.
A few of the guys, such as safety Haruki Nakamura and David Reed, may need more than just this break to get back on the field, but the rest of the list could realistically be ready and active when the Texans come to town. Those layers include WR Lee Evans (ankle), CB Jimmy Smith (ankle), CB Chris Carr (hamstring), G Ben Grubbs (toe), LB Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) and safety Tom Zbikowski (concussion). Zbi received his concussion in the Ravens win over the Jets and was replaced by Bernard Pollard, who played a solid game along with the rest of the Ravens secondary.
Interesting from the story on BaltimoreRavens.com was that with those seven injured players other than Zbikowski, every other player on the team had to suit up as the roster is only 53 players and 46 are active for game days. That alone proves the solid depth of this team as well as their workmanlike mantra of "next man up." Based on the injuries and the Bye week, head coach John Harbaugh used those issues to come up with the decision to give the players the rest of the week off to continue to heal and rest before returning to prepare for the Texans and the remainder of the season.