After suffering a neck injury last week against the Washington Redskins, linebacker Jameel McClain has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos according to coach John Harbaugh.
McClains’s absence is the latest blow to an already injury depleted defense, which now finds themselves scrambling for bodies to substitute at middle linebacker while their top three options heal.
Injuries and football go hand-in-hand and the Ravens are not immune. The sad reality at this point is that the Ravens have more linebackers modeling the NFL’s latest in sideline gear than they do donning helmets and pads.
Simply put, the injury bug has turned into an infestation on the Ravens defense.
After being promoted from the practice squad to the active roster following Ray Lewis’ torn triceps injury, Josh Bynes will see an increased role as a result of McClain’s injury.
Following McClain’s injury on Sunday, Bynes had to be given a new helmet so he could have the communication device connected to defensive coordinator Dean Pees. Bynes found himself jumping from the practice squad to suddenly communicating plays to the whole defense.
Undoubtedly, Bynes will see the most playing time of his career this week, and he’ll have to find a way to limit the damage of one of the best quarterbacks ever.
Video: Ravens defense devastated by injury
“It’s Peyton Manning, he’s one of the smartest, best quarterbacks to play this game,” he said. “You’ve just got to be at your very best because you’re going to get all you can from him.”
Even though he was happy to see his role increase, Bynes still takes losing hard. As players must, he has a short memory when it comes to his preparations.
“Coming down to the last field goal sucks and it feels bad but at the same time in this league, you’ve got to move on to the next one,” he said. “If you keep moaning and crying about the last game, which you can’t get back, then you aren’t going to be able to move forward in this game and in this business.”
“We’ve made some mistakes here and there, but who doesn’t?” Bynes said when speaking about the defenses performance thus far. “We’re just going to do what we’re supposed to do, come up with a good game plan against Peyton Manning and do our best.”
To beat Manning this week, Pees will have to try to outsmart one of the smartest players to ever don a helmet. As the Ravens know all too well, Manning is tough enough to beat with a healthy team. They will have an uphill battle on Sunday when they throw a defense on the field that essentially looks like a third-string training camp squad that just happens to have Ed Reed and Haloti Ngata playing with them.