BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 11: Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
While the definition of "staying healthy" in the NFL does not necessarily mirror life in the real world, it does mean the same thing. In the NFL, the teams that are the most successful are usually the ones who stay the healthiest in key positions and have the players who can step in when injuries do occur to minimize the loss of a key player, or two, or three.
The Baltimore Ravens have no been hit by the injury bug as badly as many other teams in the league. No less than nine teams have seen their quarterback either be lost for the season or miss significant playing time due to an injury, and that's not even counting the teams that have switched QBs due to the original starter's ineffectiveness.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco was thrust into the starting role in his rookie season due to not only one injury but an illness by the second-stringer and has not missed a single start since then. The Ravens key injuries over the course of the 2011 season have been of players that the team has been able to fill their positions without missing a beat or at least none that their three losses could be excused away with.
Since the beginning of the season, Ravens starters have missed time due to injuries at wide receiver (Lee Evans), left guard (Ben Grubbs), cornerback (Chris Carr, Lardarius Webb?), linebacker (Ray Lewis). Players such as rookie Jimmy Smith, safety Tom Zbikowski and others who were not starters have missed time, but it appears the Front Office and coaching staff has done such a great job of providing this team with depth as insurance against injuries that the loss of the players might have been noticed, but not in the results.
As the season progresses down the stretch into the post season, it will come down to which team has the best chemistry and effectiveness, which is a factor of players staying or getting healthy and on the same page with their teammates. The Ravens injuries, as minimal as they have been this season, are on the mend and should be all better for the stretch run at the Super Bowl
Although it will remain to be seen if Baltimore can return the Lombardi Trophy to this city, it does not appear that any reason why that might not happen would be based on any injuries that have occurred up to this point ad hopefully, this story will not be the subject of a jinx from this point forward.