The Baltimore Ravens have been plagued with injury since the beginning of training camp. After losing players to retirement, free agency, and of course injury, the Ravens have had to spend the first few weeks of the season figuring out what works best for the team and how to work around the injuries.
The team lost their most dependable tight end Dennis Pitta, which has thrown a wrench into the Ravens offensive scheme as a whole. While Pitta has been recovering from surgery after dislocating his hip during training camp, the Ravens have been trying to find the best fit for Pitta’s replacement, since Pitta is projected to miss the 2013 season.
The Ravens signed Dallas Clark soon after Pitta’s injury and have been switching back and forth between Clark and fourth-year Raven Ed Dickson. But it seems as though the Ravens are looking toward Clark as the the starter for the remainder of the season. Clark has 12 receptions for 141 yards through three games, the second highest numbers on the team behind wide receiver Torrey Smith.
Wide receiver and return specialist Jacoby Jones is recovering from a knee sprain after a collision with Brynden Trawick while Jones was waiving for a fair catch on a punt. Trawick has since been cut from the Ravens roster. Initial reports said Jones that Jones was likely to be out four to six weeks. With Jones still on the mend from his injury the Ravens have looked toward younger talent to fill in for Jones at the wideout position.
Marlon Brown has shown that he is a valuable replacement for Jones. Brown has 10 catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns heading into Week 4. Fullback Vonta Leach is the only other Raven with a reception for a touchdown so far this season.
Ravens running back Ray Rice was sidelined last week after sustaining a hip injury in Week 2, but was out on the practice field on Wednesday. While Rice was limited in practice, he was showing signs of great improvement and could be on the field for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.
Bernard Pierce has stepped up to replace Rice in Week 3 against the Houston Texans. Pierce had 24 carries for 65 yards, averaging 2.7 yards per carry. While the yardage does not seem like anything out of the ordinary, the fact that the Ravens relied on Pierce as much as they did in the game shows that they are comfortable with him carrying the ball. Having a backup running back that almost mirrors the starter is a great attribute to the Ravens offense.
Defensive lineman Chris Canty and inside linebacker Arthur Brown could both be out on the field for the Ravens on Sunday. Canty has been battling a groin injury and has missed the past two games and Brown has recently been dealing with a pectoral injury that sidelined him last week against the Texans.