Things aren’t going well for the Baltimore Ravens this offseason and it doesn’t appear to be getting any better. The Ravens have lost five players due to injury, suspension, and retirement over the past two months and are being stretched thin barely a week into training camp. One has to wonder if it’s a conditioning issue that has been plaguing the team, a run of bad luck, or a little of both. The positions hardest hit so far have been the Tight End position and the Cornerback position which, ironically, were the same issues the Ravens had last season. It is being reported out of training camp that TE Crockett Gillmore and CB Maurice Canady both suffered significant knee injuries on Friday and the Ravens are struggling to find bodies to keep camp going.
The Ravens have recently signed TE Larry Donnell in wake of Gillmore’s injury and released UDFA Tim Patrick. This is unfortunate because Patrick (6’4″ 212 lbs) was an interesting prospect that could have become a big red zone target for Flacco. The immediate signing of veteran TE Donnell and not just a camp body means that Gillmore’s injury will probably cause him to miss a few games. With Darren Waller suspended for the whole year, Dennis Pitta re-injuring his hip, and Benjamin Watson coming off an Achilles injury the Ravens offense appears to shutting down before it can even get started.
The CB position has taken its hits as well with the injuries of up and comers Tavon Young and Maurice Canady. It’s tough for these players because Young was coming off a great rookie season and Canady was placed on injured reserve last October. I’m sure he was anxious to fight for the Nickel corner spot with Young going down earlier in the offseason. The situation for the secondary is not as dire as the Tight End position because of the signing of veteran CB Brandon Carr and drafting stand out DB Marlon Humphrey. If Jimmy Smith can find a way to remain healthy, the secondary could be one of the best units this season. All things considered, the defense will probably be the best group on field for this team.
The key for this team, however, is the offense scoring points. The Ravens ranked 21st in passing touchdowns, 22nd is rushing touchdowns and ranked 19th in red zone scoring percentage in 2016. What is embarrassing is that the Browns were ranked 4 spots higher than them. The Ravens are going to need to have at least a top 15 offense to compete against teams like the Steelers and the Patriots. With Flacco being hurt and missing quality time with his revamped Wide Receivers, The Tight End position in flux and uncertainty with the offensive line, the Ravens hill to a championship is getting steeper by the day.