Conventional wisdom around the Ravens was that once Jimmy Smith recovered from the high left ankle sprain that had shelved him since the season opener on Sept. 11, the rookie cornerback would quickly overtake Danny Gorrer as the fifth defensive back in the defense's nickel package.
But that wasn't the case on Monday night as Gorrer, not Smith, lined up as the nickel back in the team's 12-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Smith, who is still dealing with some soreness in the ankle, was relegated to strictly special teams work against Jacksonville.
Gorrer was appreciative of the coaches' decision to utilize him on obvious passing downs.
"That's big," he said. "With Jimmy coming back and getting into the swing of things, they still chose to go with me. That just showed that they have faith in me and trust in me a little bit to go out there and play. But with Jimmy and Chris [Carr] coming back to the group, all that really doesn't matter to me. I want to be around these guys and help out as much as I can, and that's what they're letting me do. So I'm blessed."
Gorrer, who was limited in practice Thursday after suffering a thigh injury, understands that a healthy Smith and/or Carr may return him to being an observer at some point – maybe this Sunday when the Arizona Cardinals pay a visit. Until then, Gorrer said he will relish his time on the field in terms of aiding his development in his third year in the NFL.
"It's a little different out there when you're playing at full speed," he said. "It's all about knowing what's going on, and I'm trying to take advantage of that."