The Baltimore Ravens fear became a reality on Monday when the team learned both of their key defensive players will be sidelined for the remainder of the season with injuries.
Veteran Pro-Bowler Ray Lewis and top cornerback Lardarius Webb both suffered season ending injuries on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. Lewis suffered a complete tear in his triceps and Webb tore his ACL in his left knee.
The loss of both Lewis and Webb come at a time when the Ravens defense was already being regarded as questionable. After giving up over 200 yards rushing the last two weeks the Ravens will need to figure out a way to bend and not break.
Baltimore is likely to turn to fourth-year player Dannell Ellerbe as Lewis’ replacement. Despite playing mostly in passing situations this year, Ellerbe has performed well and ranks as one the teams top tacklers. Last season when Lewis was out with a foot injury the team responded well and could use a committee of linebackers if Ellerbe struggles.
The injury to Webb could prove more costly to a struggling Ravens secondary. With Webb out that leaves corner backs’ Jimmy Smith and Cary Williams as the starters. Both have struggled all year with covering receivers. The Ravens also have indicated that veteran Corey Graham who they acquired from the Bears this offseason will get the first crack at filling in for Webb in the spot.
“I’m hurting for that guy right now” safety Ed Reed said Sunday of Webb.