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Joe Flacco's knee injury likely affects Steve Smith Sr.'s retirement

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

With the snap of Joe Flacco's ligaments, the Ravens season is well and truly over for 2015. Even though most fans expected that it was done weeks ago, the loss of Flacco and running back Justin Forsett firmly hammers the nail in the coffin. What could be lost is of even more concern for the Ravens though.

It was expected that the Ravens would try and coax veteran wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. out of his retirement plans in the offseason. With a little time to think about it and the understanding that he didn't get a chance to go out on his own terms, Smith was even rumored to be seriously considering it. However, with his quarterback's health in flux for the start of the 2016 season, Smith would likely reconsider his backtracking.

By the time the 2016 NFL season kicks off, Smith will be 37 years old, ancient by wide receiver standards. Even though Smith put up excellent numbers in the games he was available this season, another year of sweating in the hot sun, missing his family, and putting his post-football life on hold might just not be that enticing unless the Ravens have a serious shot at the playoffs and the Super Bowl.

With the timetable we have right now, Flacco could start the season on the PUP list, making him miss a significant amount of the 2016 season. If that were the case, it would be difficult to get Smith all that interested in playing with whoever the Ravens could slide into the starting quarterback role. As a competitor, it makes sense that Senior wouldn't be all that excited to have Matt Schaub throwing to him and I couldn't blame him for sticking to his retirement plans.

So sadly for the Ravens and fans, this injury might have done far more harm than we could even see right this moment.