Word came out this morning that Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin will be sidelined the next two weeks after having surgery today to repair a torn meniscus. He is expected to miss the games against the Cleveland Browns, and more importantly, the week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
This injury is pretty big news as the Ravens offense really could be even more one dimensional than they already are and they will rely even more now on running back Ray Rice to carry the load the final two weeks. The Ravens currently sit tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers atop the AFC North at 10-4, but they win the tie breakers due to their regular season sweep of Pittsburgh this season. Should they stumble in the final two weeks of the season and the Steelers run the table, Pittsburgh would win the AFC North and at worst get to host a AFC wild card game.
Boldin leads all Ravens receivers with 57 catches and is second on the team behind Rice, who has 71 receptions. 44 of the 57 catches that Boldin has made this season were good for 1st downs in addition. With Boldin down now the Ravens will likely line up Lee Evans with rookie Torrey Smith and tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta figure to both have an even larger role in the passing game.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said he expects Boldin to be ready to return for the playoffs, but that might be a very optimistic view. We will have to see.