The Ravens finished the regular season by winning two games despite inconsistent gains from their passing attack. That problem could be remedied by the return of Anquan Boldin.
The team’s top wide receiver over the past two seasons is set to return this week from knee surgery in anticipation of the club’s opening playoff contest AFC Divisional round Jan. 15, and Boldin said he has no qualms about the health of his knee.
“I feel good,” Boldin said in the locker room under Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati after the Ravens’ 24-16 win against the Bengals Sunday evening. “I worked with the trainers, rehabbed it, pushed it, and now I feel good.”
Boldin, who finished the regular season as the team’s leader in receiving yards (887) despite sitting out the past two games, underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. Boldin said he had played with the injury for much of the season before the pain became too difficult to ignore after a Dec. 20 practice.
“It was something I’d been playing with all season,” he said. “It was partially torn. It flapped up on me during practice, and I couldn’t run. That’s when we decided to do it.”
Boldin rehabilitated his knee and was ruled out for the game against Cincinnati as late as Thursday. But in a surprise move, Boldin appeared at Friday’s practice and was limited, which encouraged the team to upgrade his status to doubtful.
Boldin didn’t play, but he took his participation as a promising sign.
“No, I’m not concerned about rust,” he said. “I was pushing hard and I practiced on Friday and did some of the things I expect to do.”
Boldin’s return should bolster a pass offense that amassed just 11 of 30 first downs and 262 of 631 total yards and averaged just 6.1 yards per pass attempt in the last two games. The wide receivers have caught just seven passes for 71 yards in Boldin’s absence, and rookie Torrey Smith has made all seven receptions.
“It’ll feel great,” quarterback Joe Flacco said of welcoming back Boldin. “He’s a big part of our game, and you like when you have a guy out there and you like when everybody is healthy, and you like when he’s really, truly a part of it. Obviously, we’re going to benefit when he’s out there.”
Added coach John Harbaugh: “He’ll provide a spark. We’ll be looking to have him be a big part of our offense.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun