Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon talks about the play of recently signed linebacker Josh Bynes. Judon on the defensive line need to improve their pass rush.
This past offseason, former Raven Za’Darius Smith earned a four-year, $66 million deal from the Green Bay Packers. Outside linebacker Matthew Judon could get a similar payday next offseason. But he knows it’d help if the 2019 Ravens defense looked more like the 2018 Ravens defense.
The Ravens have just two sacks and four quarterback hits over the past two weeks, and Judon has been held without a sack after starting the season with one in three straight games.
“I’m all right on the contract situation,” he said Wednesday. “It happens when it’s supposed to happen. God has His plan. I’m just riding the wave right now. The better I play and the better our team plays, the more it helps me out on [my] contract. But I’m not really thinking about that. I’ve got a job to do every day, and how selfish would it be for me to these guys if I’m just out here pouting about some money?”
Sunday could be a breakthrough game for the Ravens. While the winless Cincinnati Bengals held the Arizona Cardinals to just one sack and three quarterback hits Sunday, they allowed eight and 12, respectively, the week before in a blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
According to ESPN, Bengals tackles Bobby Hart and Andre Smith rank among the NFL’s nine worst tackles in Pass Block Win Rate, the rate at which linemen can sustain their blocks for at least 2.5 seconds. Smith has played at left tackle in place of starter Cordy Glenn, who has been sidelined since the preseason with a concussion.
“We’ve just got to get after them,” Judon said of Cincinnati’s line. “They gave up some stuff, but other lines gave up some stuff. We’ve just got to get after them, got to be physical up front, and we’ve got to take the fight to them.”
10 Ravens missing
A handful of significant Ravens missed practice Wednesday with injuries.
Baltimore Ravens Insider Newsletter
Want the inside scoop on the Ravens? Become a Ravens Insider and you'll have access to news, notes and analysis from The Sun.
Tight end Mark Andrews (shoulder), who also has been dealing with a foot injury, wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (ankle), cornerback Maurice Canady (thigh) and inside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor (ankle) all were absent. Andrews and Brown missed time in Sunday’s win over the Steelers, while Canady has a history of leg injuries.
Cornerback Brandon Carr, running back Mark Ingram II, guard Marshal Yanda and safety Earl Thomas III missed practice for noninjury reasons.
Cornerback Jimmy Smith (knee) remains out. Harbaugh said Smith is “doing well,” but declined to speculate Wednesday on when he could return to action. Smith suffered a knee sprain in the Ravens’ Week 1 win over the Miami Dolphins and has not practiced since. “Got my fingers crossed for soon,” Harbaugh said.
>> Steelelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Mason Rudolph “appears to be doing fine" but that the quarterback remained in concussion protocol after an illegal high hit by Thomas. Rudolph, who was knocked unconscious and briefly hospitalized Sunday, returned to practice Wednesday.
“It’s part of the game we signed up for,” Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson said Wednesday. “We don’t really want anything like that to happen, even though it’s a rival game. But still, he’s a human being, he’s part of the NFL, he’s a brother, and we don’t really like to see anything like that happen. You’ve just got to play ball, try to protect yourself.”
>> Harbaugh sounded disappointed by the feedback he received from NFL officials over questionable calls made in Sunday’s win. “All you hope for as a coach is to receive some information that you can share with the guys that you can coach them off of, you know?” he said. “And in all honesty, we didn’t get any valuable information that helps us coach our guys any better based on what we had.”