Dealing with an Achilles tendon injury, Ravens top cornerback Jimmy Smith didn't play many snaps in the Ravens' 30-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum. But he made the most of his limited opportunities simply by being in the right place at the right time.
When Ravens weak-side linebacker Patrick Onwuasor stripped tight end Jared Cook of the ball after a short completion on the Raiders' first offensive drive, Smith scooped the ball up and had nobody in front of him on the way to the end zone.
"It was a gift from God," said Smith, who was untouched in returning the ball for a 48-yard touchdown and a 14-0 Ravens lead less than five minutes into the game.
It also capped a memorable week for Smith, whose second son was born Wednesday.
"It was truly a blessing," Smith said. "I couldn't be more excited about that. And then getting a touchdown and coming around for the team."
Smith, who missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, said he realized on his touchdown return that his Achilles was too sore for him to play much in the game.
So the Ravens went with Brandon Carr and rookie Marlon Humphrey at cornerback, with Smith coming in on select plays.
"It's been bothering him for a few weeks," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of Smith's Achilles. "It's been sore. It's like I told you, it's one of those things. It's a nag. It's a nagging deal right now for him, but he's out there and plays, and this game worked out where we rested him a little bit. He kind of went in there when he needed to. Marlon Humphrey stepped up and played so well and that's why we drafted him, so Marlon played well."
West, two others go down: Ravens running back Terrance West got off to a good start with two carries for 17 yards on the team's first drive. But his afternoon was a short one.
West suffered a left calf injury on his second carry, which was a 13-yard run that set up a first-and-goal for the Ravens. He was helped off the field by the training staff without being able to put any weight on his left leg before being carted to the locker room.
Harbaugh said he didn't have any updates on the severity of West's injury.
"I'm not a doctor, but I play one in press conferences," Harbaugh joked. "I really don't know the answer to that."
West has started four of the Ravens' first five games. With him down, the Ravens relied on Buck Allen and Alex Collins.
The Ravens also lost defensive tackle Carl Davis and starting right guard Matt Skura to injuries. Davis injured his hamstring in the first quarter and Skura went down with a knee sprain in the third quarter. Rookie fifth-round pick Jermaine Eluemunor replaced Skura.
Stanley honors Las Vegas victims: Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley is a Las Vegas native and he said Wednesday that he was overcome with emotion after the mass shooting in his hometown that left more than 50 people dead and around 500 people injured.
Before Sunday's game, Stanley wrote on his Twitter account that he will be playing for more than the Ravens.
"To help support the victims of last week's terror attack in my hometown, I will be donating $1,000 for every pass play I don't give up a sack, pressure, or hurry to the victims and their families," Stanley wrote.
Stanley also wore cleats for the game with the words: "Vegas strong."
Stanley was part of an offensive line Sunday that didn't allow Joe Flacco to get sacked and surrendered only two quarterback hits.
No surprises among inactives: The Ravens' inactive list for Sunday's game looked very much like it did for last Sunday's matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The only difference was that defensive end Chris Wormley made his NFL regular-season debut and Bronson Kaufusi, who made his debut last week, was inactive. Wormley, a rookie third-round pick, was a healthy scratch for the first four games.
Wormley had one tackle while getting some extended playing time after Davis' injury early in the game.
"I've prepared every week like I was going to play even when Brent [Urban] was healthy," Wormley said. "I prepared, studied every week, watched their tendencies. So I felt ready to play. I felt ready to contribute at a high level. There's a lot of things that I need to clean up on, but I feel like this is a building block for me and the only place to go is up.
Also inactive for the Ravens were wide receiver Chris Moore, tight end Maxx Williams (ankle), offensive linemen Tony Bergstrom and Dieugot Joseph, defensive tackle Brandon Williams (foot) and cornerback Jaylen Hill (hamstring).
Maxx Williams and Brandon Williams both missed their third consecutive game. Hill has been inactive for all five games this year. Hill did practice on a limited basis during the week, so he figures to be an option for next Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
End zone: The Ravens abandoned their rotation at weak-side linebacker with Onwuasor playing most of the game over Kamalei Correa. Onwuasor had five tackles and a forced fumble. … The Ravens were called for just one penalty in the game. … Converted tight end Vince Mayle’s 2-yard touchdown run came on his first touch as an NFL player. The Ravens used backup offensive lineman Luke Bowanko as an extra blocker on a few plays in the first half. It was Bowanko’s first action on offense this season. …None of the Ravens or the Raiders knelt or locked arms for the national anthem. ... For the Raiders, running back DeAndre Washington, offensive linemen Gabe Jackson and Jylan Ware, defensive lineman Jihad Ward and cornerbacks David Amerson and Gareon Conley joined Derek Carr on the inactive list.