By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
9:50 PM EDT, September 6, 2013
A magnetic resonance imaging exam Friday revealed that Ravens Pro Bowl kick returner Jacoby Jones sprained his medial collateral ligament in his right knee, league sources told The Baltimore Sun.
The injury isn't expected to require surgery and should heal on its own, but could sideline the wide receiver for anywhere from four-to-six weeks.
The Ravens plan to evaluate the free-agent wide receiver market, according to sources, now that Jones' medical outlook is clear.
Jones got injured during the Ravens' loss to the Denver Broncos when rookie safety Brynden Trawick inadvertently plowed into him with his head down while Jones was signaling for a fair catch on a punt return.
The Ravens, up to this point, have shown no interest in targeting a veteran free-agent receiver market that includes Brandon Lloyd, Braylon Edwards, Laurent Robinson, Austin Collie, Josh Cribbs and David Nelson.
A wide receiver with return skills would come in handy.
The Ravens could also make rookie Aaron Mellette — who was a healthy scratch against the Broncos — active for games. Plus, Deonte Thompson has made progress from a sprained left foot that has kept him out since the first preseason game. If Thompson can regain his health, he could provide a deep threat on offense and speed on kick returns.
Trawick was downcast in the locker room after accidentally crashing into Jones and causing him to sprain his right knee.
Trawick had his helmet tilted downward, decking Jones while he was signaling for a fair catch on a punt return. Jones was scheduled to have a magnetic resonance imaging exam Friday.
"I just didn't see him," Trawick said. "It was bad on my part. There's not much I can say, for real."
Harbaugh has already addressed the miscue with Trawick.
"I talked to him about it, tried to teach him that he's got to be willing to turn his head," Harbaugh said. "That's an experience problem, he's an inexperienced guy. It's a new situation for him."
Harbaugh deal averages $6 million
Ravens coach John Harbaugh's four-year contract extension is in the $6 million range, according to a source.
There were reports that Harbaugh was making $7 million per year under his new contract, which was finalized months ago.
Under contract through the 2016 season, Harbaugh, a Super Bowl winner who's led his team to five consecutive playoff appearances, is one of the highest-compensated coaches in the NFL.
The top-paid coaches are the New Orleans Saints' Sean Payton ($8 million), New England Patriots' Bill Belichick ($7.5 million), Kansas City Chiefs' Andy Reid ($7.5 million) and Seattle Seahawks' Pete Carroll ($7 million), according to Forbes.
The Ravens had already squandered a 17-14 halftime ead in the third quarter when a 28-yard Peyton Manning touchdown pass sailed into the hands of wide receiver Andre Caldwell over the head of cornerback Jimmy Smith.
Then, the wheels fell off.
When Broncos safety David Bruton blocked Sam Koch's punt, two plays later Manning capitalized with a five-yard touchdown pass to slot receiver Wes Welker.
“The blocked punt was a big deal," Harbaugh said. "We were ahead there and to go three and out which was disappointing, then the block punt and they score. It was just too easy for them.
"The biggest issue that we had was that we gave up too many easy things. That’s the issue.. That’s just the bottom line, we can’t give them the easy plays.”
No setbacks for Webb
Cornerback Lardarius Webb made it through unscathed in his first regular-season game since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last October.
Webb played solidly overall, deflecting one pass.
"I feel great, happy to be back out there," Webb said. "But we lost."
Higher pay for Furstenburg
Rookie tight end Matt Furstenburg is at a higher level of compensation under his practice squad contract, a sign of respect and an acknowledgement that other teams might offer him a spot on their active roster.
The former Maryland player makes $8,000 per week instead of the standard $6,000 practice squad salary for a total of $136,000.