Another Ravens linebacker has earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Jarret Johnson is the latest to have won the award, after his performance in Sunday night’s 34-17 win over the Jets. The outside linebacker returned a fumble 26 yards for a touchdown, had two quarterback hits and three tackles (including one tackle for loss) in the Ravens’ victory.
If you’re counting, that marks three Baltimore linebackers that have won the award in the season’s first four weeks. Terrell Suggs took it home for his Week 1 effort, and Ray Lewis earned the honors following his performance in Week 3.
No pressure, Jameel McClain.
Head coach John Harbaugh has said that he feels the Ravens’ bye week has come at the perfect time, as it will allow his squad the chance to recover from a handful of injuries and hopefully be close to full strength when they return to the playing field next week against the Texans.
“It really is (ideal) with the number of injuries we have.” Harbaugh said. “Normally, you like to have it kind of in the middle, but where we are at injury-wise right now, it is the best timing we could have had.”
There are a few other teams around the NFL which would love to be accompanying the Ravens on their Week 5 bye this week, because of injuries of their own.
The Steelers, for example, are pretty darn banged up right now. Starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger apparently will play for Pittsburgh this Sunday against the Titans, but he’s dealing with a sprained left foot. That, unfortunately for the Steelers, is not the worst of their problems right now.
Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin has said that four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker James Harrison will miss “a number of weeks” after fracturing an orbital bone near his right eye.
Doesn’t that just sound like a lovely injury to suffer?
On top of losing their top pass rusher, Pittsburgh will likely be without defensive end Aaron Smith (sprained foot) against the Titans, and they are also dealing with injuries to running backs Rashard Mendenhall (hamstring) and Mewelde Moore (ankle), nose tackle Casey Hampton (shoulder contusion) and cornerback Cortez Allen (ankle).
Lee Evans, Ben Grubbs, Jimmy Smith, Chris Carr and others on the Ravens will get to kick back and let their bumps and bruises heal this week. No such luck for those in the Steel City.
I’ve got one more injury note which impacts the Ravens, and this one involves Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson.
Baltimore might catch a break coming out of their bye, as Houston’s All-Pro wideout is expected to miss around three weeks with a hamstring injury, according to the Houston Chronicle. If that holds up, Johnson would be on the sidelines for next week’s game in Baltimore.
Cary Williams, you can breathe a sigh of relief.