A couple of you hit the blog late last night to vent about Ravens coach John Harbaugh using wide receiver Donte' Stallworth as a punt returner, and Stallworth subsequently getting injured at some point during the 24-10 win over the Giants.
I don't believe it has been confirmed how Stallworth broke his foot (he'll be out two months), but one can assume it happened on one of his three punt returns because he didn't make a catch last night.
Still, I see nothing wrong with Harbaugh using Stallworth, a second-string receiver, as a punt returner. His other options were starting starting cornerback Chris Carr, starting safety Tom Zbikowski and Prince Miller, an undrafted rookie cornerback who might not even make the 53-man roster.
I was actually excited about the possibility of Mark Clayton, who suffered a mild concussion against the Giants, and Stallworth returning punts for the Ravens. In particular, I was curious to see what Stallworth could do back there. He's no Devin Hester or Josh Cribbs, but he has blazing speed and can be dangerous in open spaces -- at least more than the Ravens' other options.
Some of you are understandably lamenting losing the team's primary deep threat. And Stallworth can do more than just run nine routes. The Ravens were running him across the formation often in training camp while his fellow receivers ran clearing routes to open things up for him.
It's a blow, no doubt, especially with Clayton sidelined, too, but it's not the end of the world.
At least the Ravens still have Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason, and I'm guessing that Clayton will be back for Week 1. Besides, Stallworth, who has a slight build and skinny legs, has missed 17 games in seven NFL seasons. It's unfortunate, but it's not all that surprising he blew a tire.The Ravens had to figure this was a possibility when they signed him to that low-risk one-year deal.