Already playing without five starters and two major contributors, the Ravens had three more starters sustain injuries that kept them from finishing Sunday's game against the New York Giants.
Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs injured his left arm while sacking New York quarterback Eli Manning midway through the fourth quarter. Multiple media reports have indicated that the 34-year-old tore his biceps. Suggs suffered that type of injury in 2012 and played through it.
The team’s leader in sacks, with four, said after the game that he did not know the severity of the injury.
“I’m all right,” said Suggs, who finished with five tackles (two for a loss) and two quarterback hits. “I ain’t no doctor. We’re going to get everything looked at before we find out what the diagnosis is, and we’re going to go from there.”
Suggs missed just about all of last season after suffering a torn Achilles in the season opener.
Sunday against the Giants, the defense lost two more starters in cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (concussion) and Jerraud Powers (groin) in the second quarter. Their absence – particularly Smith’s, which occurred when he collided with outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith – opened the door for the Giants to gain 290 more passing yards with wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. catching five balls for 201 yards and two scores in the second half.
Neither Smith nor Powers were available to comment after the game. Rookie Tavon Young, who blamed himself for getting caught up with strong safety Eric Weddle on a pick play that led to Beckham’s game-winning 66-yard touchdown, said the secondary wasn’t throwing a pity party over missing Smith and Powers.
“Guys just got to step up,” he said. “Guys filled in. I was playing outside, back to nickel, back to outside. It’s just part of the game. Everybody’s got to know what each position is and know the plays.”
The five starters who sat out all of Sunday's game are inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (hamstring), wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. (ankle), rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley (foot), right tackle Rick Wagner (thigh) and right guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder). Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (foot) and return specialist Devin Hester Sr. (thigh) were both inactive, too.
“It’s the NFL. It’s a 100 percent injury rate,” Suggs said. “When a guy goes out, you have to be a competitor. I’m not going to be the one to cost my team. That’s every man across. It ain’t just one guy. We all got to take a look at ourself and see what we can do better so we can stop losing these [expletive] games. It’s very unfortunate.”
Offense shows big-play ability: An offense that switched offensive coordinators from Marc Trestman to Marty Mornhinweg offered a brief glimmer of what it can do.
The team recorded four plays of at least 20 yards (and two more big gains on penalties) after having just 11 in the first five games. The Ravens also doubled their previous total of two plays of at least 40 yards.
Three of those big gains occurred through the air. Quarterback Joe Flacco’s 70-yard bomb to wide receiver Mike Wallace was the Ravens’ longest of the season. Flacco found wide receiver Breshad Perriman for 41 yards, which led to a 23-yard field goal by Justin Tucker to open the scoring. And wide receiver Kamar Aiken completed a 22-yard play that contributed to running back Terrance West’s second touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Even when some of the downfield passes fell incomplete, the offense made gains. New York cornerback Trevin Wade was flagged for a 42-yard pass interference penalty on Wallace, and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was cited for a 30-yard pass interference call on Perriman.
The deep shots were music to the ears of the wide receivers.
“It was a great job,” said Wallace, who finished with four catches for 97 yards. “We had two completions — [the] Kamar one was a big fourth down. I got a penalty, Breshad got a penalty. That’s four big plays on vertical passes. We have guys that can connect on those as well. That’s the type of team we have. We have those types of guys.”
West frustrated about the TD that wasn’t: West had a productive day with 23 carries for 87 yards and two touchdowns. But it was a touchdown he failed to convert that haunted the running back.
With Ravens trailing 17-13 late in the third quarter, they went to West (Northwestern High, Towson University) on third down-and-goal from the 1-yard line and again on fourth down. New York stopped West both times.
West refused to blame the blocking or anyone else for his inability to get into the end zone. “I’ve got to get it in there,” he said. “That’s me.”
On fourth down, West took a pitch and followed a fullback Kyle Juszczyk off the left end. But outside linebacker Jonathan Casillas shrugged off Juszczyk’s block and pushed West out of bounds at the 2-yard line to turn over possession to the Giants.
“The play was designed to go to the pylon,” West said. “I wish I could get that one back, put my foot in the ground and go get it. But the way the design of the play was, I wish I could go get that one back. That was eating me up all day after that play. I’ve just got to look forward and let it go.”
End zone: With interceptions from cornerbacks Will Davis and Young, the Ravens have now picked off eight passes. Last season, the defense had just six interceptions. … The team played without five players who have combined for 20 career Pro Bowl appearances: Dumervil (five-times), Smith (five), Yanda (five), Hester (four), and Mosley (one). … Rookie defensive tackle Willie Henry was deactivated for the sixth straight game. … Tight end Crockett Gillmore, punter Sam Koch, inside linebacker Zachary Orr, and nose tackle Brandon Williams represented the Ravens for the coin toss.