Before the NFL season, the Baltimore Ravens were thought to be in one of their best situations in years. They drafted heavily on the defensive side of the football, signed wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and Breshad Perriman had a good mini-camp. Then the injuries came, but they have overcome them.
Maclin and Mike Wallace battled injuries through the season. However, young receivers Michael Campanaro and Chris Moore have stepped up recently. Campanaro had his first receiving touchdown on year in Saturday’s win over the Indianapolis Colts and Moore has 242 receiving yards and two touchdown catches on the season.
Cornerback Tavon Young injured his knee and Jimmy Smith tore his Achilles, but Baltimore signed Brandon Carr and had first-round pick Marlon Humphrey in their back pocket. Maurice Canady also has made a good contribution to the secondary, with Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson manning the backside of the unit.
Offensive guards Alex Lewis (shoulder), Nico Siragusa (knee) and Marshal Yanda (ankle) went down for the season. Baltimore brought in Austin Howard to solidify the right tackle position. Offensive guards James Hurst and Matt Skura also provided solid play along the offensive line in place of their injured offensive linemen.
Running backs Terrance West and Danny Woodhead also had injuries to begin the season. Alex Collins and Buck Allen filled in their place. Collins was signed off of Baltimore’s practice squad and already has 895 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns in 14 games. Allen has 554 rushing yards and rushing four touchdowns, plus he has provided 250 receiving yards and two touchdown grabs. Woodhead has since returned to add 184 receiving yards.
Quarterback Joe Flacco slugged through a back injury for the majority of the season. He was among one of the worst passers in the league, but he has thrown for seven touchdowns and just one interception in four weeks. He now has 2,938 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns and 12 interceptions on the year, while completing a career-high 65.1% of his passes.
Baltimore also dealt with injuries along the defensive line with Brandon Williams (foot) and Brent Urban (foot), who was lost for the season with a Lisfranc injury. Willie Henry, Michael Pierce and Carl Davis stepped into their place. Williams made his return and since, Baltimore’s defensive front has been better at stopping the run.
Without being forgotten, linebackers Terrell Suggs and Matt Judon have been all over the quarterback this season, combining for 18 sacks on the season. The two have been a part of a defense that averages a league-leading 2.2 takeaways per game.
Despite the adversity that Baltimore has faced with injuries, they just have to beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday to make it into the playoffs. If anyone believed in the Ravens to make it into the playoffs and possibly finish 10-6 with the amount of injuries that occurred, it was themselves. They fought through them and continued to play well enough to make it into the postseason.