As the Ravens expected, long snapper Morgan Cox suffered ligament damage to his knee early in yesterday's win over the Browns, and he will have to miss the rest of the season.
The undrafted rookie out of Tennessee suffered a torn ACL and a third-degree sprain of the MCL in his left knee, head coach John Harbaugh said today, and the Ravens will need to look for a new long snapper this week.
The injury occurred early in the second quarter yesterday, and luckily for the Ravens, Cox was able to play through the pain and finish the game. Had he not been able to continue, we would have gotten to see running back Willis McGahee take over the snapping duties the rest of the game.
"What [Cox] managed to do, to play through that - Willis McGahee would have been our long snapper, and Willis does a great job. But we'd rather have Morgan Cox or a professional long snapper doing that job," Harbaugh said. "And it would have been tough to win the game without him. For him to gut it out the way he did was probably one of the keys to the victory, so really proud of his gutsy performance."
The Ravens will hold tryouts tomorrow to find a new long snapper. They'll bring in four or five candidates and will sign the best of the bunch to their active roster.
The challenge for whoever comes in to take Cox's place will be to build up his chemistry with punter/holder Sam Koch and place kicker Billy Cundiff, who have been working with Cox since the spring.
It might not seem like a big thing, but with the playoffs arriving shortly and the pressure on all of the special teams units increasing, the specialists need to be on the same page and know each other's tendencies.
"It's something that's going to be tough," Harbaugh said. "They've worked together, obviously, since OTAs. They've taken every snap together, so those guys do get an operation and chemistry built up. But we'll bring in a good long snapper and short snapper, somebody who's a pro who's done it before, and we'll be OK."
And hopefully, McGahee won't be needed in that role. Although I maintain that would be fun to watch.