Another day, another AFC North defender sidelined with an injury that required surgery. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s defensive end Stephon Tuitt. The Bengals are dealing with a hand injury suffered by cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Joining his division rivals on the sidelines this week is Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl inside linebacker C.J. Mosley.
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh revealed yesterday while speaking to reporters that the former first-round draft pick recently underwent surgery on his shoulder. He noted that while Mosley is not on the field, “he’s in the building and just being held out for now”, according to Baltimore Sun writer Jeff Zrebiec. “No longtime concerns”, he added.
According to the team’s website, the linebacker is actually “still participating in the workouts and walk-throughs”, but isn’t doing any more than that right now as the Ravens are being cautious with their valued commodity. He actually dealt with a number of lower-body injuries last season.
In 14 games, the Raven recorded 94 tackles in 2016, doubling his previous career-best with four interceptions and tying his career-high with eight passes defensed. While he did not record a sack after registering seven combined in his first two seasons, he did force his third fumble.
But the ‘backer is not the only Raven currently mostly in spectator mode during OTAs. You might recall that Baltimore’s third-year tight end, former second-draft draft choice Maxx Williams, saw his season end early on last year with a knee injury that landed him on injured reserve.
Harbaugh explained that his knee injury required what the team’s website described as “a complicated surgery” that “had never been performed before on a football player”, which is pretty much something that you never want to hear describing one of your own players—or anyone for that matter.
But the head coach did say that “it looks like we’re going to have him full speed in training camp”, where the tight end group will once again face a crowded room. Among those returning are Dennis Pitta and Benjamin Watson, the latter of whom missed all of last season.
Also back are Crockett Gillmore, who has starting experience, and third-year player Nick Boyle, who spent most of 2016 serving a suspension. Darren Waller is in the room as well, but I have read that they may be moving him to more of a wide receiver role again.
Previously known as well was a shoulder surgery underdone by veteran All-Pro guard Marshal Yanda, whose timeline for return had always been for training camp. For a player of his experience and caliber, of course, it would do little good for him to be on the field.
They need those reps for the younger starters that they have to break in, anyway. As in, basically everybody who is not him. While two of the four other remaining starters are already in place, both of them are just second-year players.