Making his first appearance since suffering a high left ankle sprain in the season opener on Sept. 11, rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith was relegated entirely to special teams play in the Ravens’ 12-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Everbank Field Monday night.
Smith, the organization’s first-round pick in April, played primarily on the punt return unit, lining up on the outside. Afterward, he downplayed his contributions.
“It doesn’t feel good after a loss,” he said. “That’s all I can think about. I didn’t really do anything. I played a little bit on special teams, but that’s it.”
Smith did not line up as the fifth defensive back in the team’s nickel package as anticipated. That assignment went to third-year cornerback Danny Gorrer, who has been filling that role over the last three games.
Coach John Harbaugh said the team wanted to ease Smith’s return.
“We would have liked to put Jimmy on defense more,” Harbaugh said. “… We didn’t feel like this was the game to do that.”
Smith didn’t disagree with that approach.
“The coaches know what’s best,” he said. “I’ve been out for a long time. Just to throw me in there, I don’t want to say it would’ve been harsh, but in a game like this after I haven’t been playing for a month, that wouldn’t have been smart. If we had a comfortable lead, then OK, let me get my groove back a little.”