Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith will be sidelined at least a few weeks because of a sprained left foot, coach John Harbaugh said Monday.
Because of the nature of the injury, sources with knowledge of the situation predicted Smith might be sidelined longer. They said potential return dates of Nov. 24 against the New Orleans Saints or the following week against the San Diego Chargers are more realistic scenarios.
Smith was carted off the field during the first quarter of the Ravens' 27-24 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.
This represents a major setback for the Ravens. Smith is their top cornerback and is arguably one of their three best defensive players.
"Jimmy is going to be out for a few weeks," Harbaugh said. "It's not a Lisfranc deal. It's a mid-foot sprain. He'll be out for a few weeks, but he'll be back soon."
Now, the Ravens will have to deal with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday at Heinz Field without Smith. Roethlisberger is coming off the best game of his career, completing 40 of 49 passes for 522 yards and six touchdowns during a win over the Indianapolis Colts.
With Smith sidelined, the Ravens likely will have to go with Dominique Franks as their starting cornerback opposite veteran Lardarius Webb.
Along with rookie free safety Terrence Brooks, Franks was beaten for a 53-yard completion that led to Andy Dalton's quarterback sneak for the game-winning touchdown.
Harbaugh didn't sound inclined necessarily to add a cornerback to the roster. The Ravens can have cornerback Chykie Brown active; he was a healthy scratch for the past two games. They could also promote undrafted rookie cornerback Tramain Jacobs from the practice squad.
Free-agent cornerbacks available include Derek Cox, who was briefly with the Ravens, and Richard Marshall, cut by the San Diego Chargers on Monday.
"We don't have to," Harbaugh said when asked if the team plans to add a cornerback. "If we can find the right guy, we'll do that. They are scarce. If you have a name for me, I'm willing to hear it."
NFL to review penalty
The Ravens are awaiting a formal explanation from the league regarding wide receiver Steve Smith's potential game-winning 80-yard touchdown catch being nullified by an offensive-pass-interference penalty.
Harbaugh declined to elaborate on his feelings about the touchdown's being overturned. Officials ruled that Smith interfered with safety George Iloka, who fell to the ground after Smith made contact with him. Harbaugh avoided incurring any potential fine from the NFL by not criticizing the call.
"I've studied it, I understand what happened," Harbaugh said. "I can't comment on it. That's league policy, league rules."
Asked to describe what happened on the play, Harbaugh replied: "I'm not getting into that. I appreciate you asking. My opinion of it is obvious. I think it's pretty clear-cut. It was what it was. It shows great heart and talent and effort. It says a lot about Joe [Flacco] and Steve and the offensive line that they can make a play like that. I think it's one of the greatest plays I've ever seen."
Rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro has a pulled hamstring. Campanaro had replaced struggling return specialist Jacoby Jones on punt returns Sunday, returning two punts for 17 yards. Now, the River Hill graduate is out for an undetermined time. … Harbaugh complimented safety Matt Elam, who forced an interception for rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley when he ripped the ball away from wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. "I've seen progress from Matt Elam," Harbaugh said. "Made a great play on the strip to get the turnover, which gave us a chance to win the game." … Rookie tight end Crockett Gillmore played a career-high 51 snaps and caught two passes for 23 yards in his first NFL start with veteran Owen Daniels sidelined after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. "Crockett did a good job, made a lot of catches, made some really good blocks," Harbaugh said. "He has a lot of potential. He's big, he's physical, moves his feet well. Didn't have any assignment errors, which is really big for a rookie." … The Cleveland Browns were awarded tight end Ryan Taylor off waivers Monday from the Ravens. Taylor was cut Saturday when the Ravens promoted tight end Phillip Supernaw to the active roster.