By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
2:26 PM EDT, May 22, 2013
The Ravens' hard luck at inside linebacker hasn't stopped.
Rookie inside linebacker Arthur Brown underwent sports hernia surgery a few weeks ago and is expected to be sidelined for a total of four to six weeks. He's expected to make a full recovery by training camp.
"Arthur had a sports hernia surgery right after the rookie minicamp," coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday during the Ravens' first organized team activity this offseason. "So, he's recovering from that. He should be fine soon enough."
A consensus All-American from Kansas State who was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year last season, Brown is projected as an immediate starter.
And the Ravens sorely need Brown to be healthy and productive following an offseason where middle linebacker Ray Lewis retired, Dannell Ellerbe signed with the Miami Dolphins and Rolando McClain was placed on the reserve-retired list to deal with his multiple legal problems.
This falls into the category of a medical setback more than a real crisis at inside linebacker.
Brown will still have the opportunity to continue absorbing the defensive playbook and attend meetings and watch practices, but won't get to compete for a starting job on the field again until training camp.
The Ravens' training camp is scheduled to begin July 21 when rookies, quarterbacks and selected veterans are scheduled to report.
An instinctive, intelligent player with good speed, Brown is expected to contribute immediately.
Trading up six spots with the Seattle Seahawks to select Brown 56th overall, the Ravens exchanged their original second-round pick (62nd overall), a fifth-round selection (165th) and a sixth-rounder (199th) to land Brown.
"He's a guy that we coveted," Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said during the NFL draft "He's one of our favorite players. We started to sweat a little bit as we started to see some good players go off the board. The idea of not getting him was pretty scary, so we decided to make a move."
Brown has drawn comparisons to everyone from a young Ray Lewis to athletic San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman.
Although Brown is lighter than ideal at 6-foot, 242 pounds, he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds and was a two-time team captain at Kansas State.
The native of Wichita, Kan., has drawn high grades for his athleticism and tackling skills. He literally plays sideline to sideline, chasing people down for 218 career tackles, 17 for losses, and three interceptions.
"Honestly, I really never figured myself to be a smaller linebacker," Brown said after being picked by the Ravens. "I know to some it may matter, but you can never measure the heart of a man. It really is just about your willingness to put it all out there. I play with my heart and my passion and my love for the game. You really can’t put a size on that.”