"[I'm] very happy with what Tim Jernigan has done," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He's done well since the day he's gotten here." (Baltimore Sun video)
The Ravens' hard luck with injuries surfaced again Tuesday when starting right tackle Rick Wagner was placed on injured reserve with a Lisfranc foot sprain.
Wagner got hurt Sunday during a 25-13 loss to the Houston Texans. Wagner is meeting with Charlotte, N.C., foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson on Wednesday and is expected to undergo surgery to repair the damage. The typical recovery time for a Lisfranc sprain takes five to six months.
Wagner played well in his first season as a starter, only allowing two sacks in 15 games.
"I thought Rick had a heck of a year," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He proved himself, he proved the naysayers wrong. Rick did a good job."
Now, the Ravens are likely to have to execute a line shuffle on Sunday because of the loss of Wagner and the uncertain status of left tackle Eugene Monroe. Because Monroe injured his foot Sunday and is in a walking boot, the Ravens may have undrafted rookie James Hurst play in his place. Under that scenario, Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda would play right tackle, as he did Sunday when Monroe got hurt, with rookie John Urschel stepping in for Yanda at right guard.
"We didn't have anybody else," said Yanda, who has played right tackle in the past. "[Offensive line coach] Juan [Castillo] was saying, 'John [Urschel] said that he was going to play tackle.' I said, 'No, I'll play tackle,' because he hadn't played tackle in college before.
"Obviously, it's a tough time in the game. We weren't playing well. We were down by a bunch of points and they're teeing off in the pass rush. I just wanted to do my part for the team knowing that I could do a better job at tackle and [Urschel] at guard."
After entering the game at right tackle when Wagner got hurt, Hurst struggled against Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt before later shifting to the left side. Hurst started four games earlier this season when Monroe underwent arthroscopic knee surgery.
"I'm definitely prepared," Hurst said. "Obviously, getting the starts earlier in the season helps a lot getting the confidence and experience. I'm ready to go. I've still got a week of preparation ahead of me. I'd prefer to play left. It's where I played four years in college. That's where I'm more comfortable."
Hurst cautioned against ruling out Monroe prematurely considering his pain tolerance and desire to play in this game. Monroe played through the meniscus issue for weeks before finally having surgery.
"That guy's going to do everything he can to play," Hurst said. "He's a hard worker and a hard-nosed guy. If he can go, he will."
Like Harbaugh, Yanda praised Wagner for his development throughout the season as the replacement for right tackle Michael Oher. Oher left in free agency to sign with the Tennessee Titans and has struggled so badly he might be let go one year into a four-year, $20 million contract. Wagner appears to have a bright future with the Ravens after being drafted in the fifth round out of Wisconsin last year.
"I told Rick that he has had a hell of a year," Yanda said. "For his first year starting, he has done a great job for us. It's unfortunate that he got hurt, but we go back to injuries happening. You never want them to happen and it's one of those deals where it's just a bang-bang play and you're hurt.
"It's happened to me. It's happened to a lot of guys, and it's just unfortunate. The good thing is he had a great year, and I think that he's a hard-working kid. He'll attack his rehab and he'll be back for us next year and he'll be great."