Jimmy Smith leaves game early in first quarter

The Ravens could ill afford another injury at cornerback, but that’s exactly what they got barely three minutes into their game tonight against the Dallas Cowboys.

Jimmy Smith, their top healthy cornerback, came down hard on his back defending a long sideline incompletion to Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. Smith got up after the play and slapped himself on the helmet but then he went immediately down to his knees.

Flanked by the team’s medical staff, he ultimately walked gingerly back to the sideline, where he was spitting out blood before he was ultimately taken to the locker room. The Ravens announced that Smith had a chest injury and X-rays were negative.

However, Smith was clearly concerned after the game. He said that he felt better than he did while he was on the field though he walked across the locker room with a bloody towel.

"I don't know what is wrong with me," said Smith. "On the field, I was throwing up blood. The X-rays came back negative, but I still don't know what is the problem. I don't want to say I'm OK, or it is one thing, and then it is something else. I really don't know."

Smith admitted that he remembered the first series of the game, which ended on Courtney Upshaw's 26-yard fumble return touchdown, but nothing else.

"I know we got one early," he said. "I know we got a stop on that first series, but after that I can't remember a thing."

Still, team officials were optimistic that Smith avoided a significant injury. 

"Jimmy kind of had a chest contusion," head coach John Harbaugh said. "He landed on his back and he got a bruise in there. He should be fine, too."

Entering his fourth season, Smith has built off a good finish to last season with a strong training camp at a time where other Ravens’ defensive backs have struggled to stay on the field.

Lardarius Webb, the Ravens’ most accomplished corner, is dealing with a lower back injury and could miss the entire preseason. Veteran Aaron Ross, who was expected to challenge for the No.3 cornerback spot, tore his Achilles on the eve of training camp. Asa Jackson was having a good camp, but he sustained an ankle/foot injury in Sunday’s joint practice with the San Francisco 49ers and was on the sideline tonight with a boot on his right leg. His return isn’t imminent

Veteran corner Dominique Franks, who the Ravens signed in late June, replaced Smith and was beaten on a 31-yard touchdown pass by Bryant later in the first quarter.  

The Ravens have been looking to add another corner either via trade or free agency, but Smith being out for any length of time would obviously accelerate their pursuit. They have been so thin there that third-round pick Terrence Brooks, who was drafted as a safety, is being used in the nickel back role tonight.

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