Hours after being helped off the field and being unable to put any weight on his sprained right ankle, Baltimore Ravens veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason was relieved that the injury is a relatively minor one.
Mason twisted his ankle and was on the ground for a while Tuesday morning after absorbing a big hit from strong safety Dawan Landry and fumbling the football.
"Luckily, it’s not anything serious that’s going to keep me out for a long period of time," Mason said. "Just stiff, sore, not in a lot of pain. It’s something you deal with and move on."
Initially, it was a scary deal for the Ravens who can’t afford to lose their two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver.
However, Mason was getting around Tuesday afternoon without crutches. His ankle was simply taped and he didn’t have a brace or air cast, a positive sign.
"I’ll be fine," Mason said. "I just twisted it, that’s all."
Despite a multitude of injuries over the years, Mason hasn’t missed a regular-season start in eight years.
His durability isn’t a cause for concern.
"Training camp is a tough situation," wide receiver Anquan Boldin said. "You want to get as much work as possible, but you want to be smart about it.
"If you lose a guy like Derrick, you lose a big part of your offense. He won’t be out too long. He’ll be smart about it."
Mason emphasized that he hasn’t suffered the dreaded high-ankle sprain and that he’ll be back well before the start of the regular season.
"I’ll be fine," he said. "I’ve got lots of time."
Like any NFL team, the Ravens run the risk of incurring a pile of injuries to key players before playing any meaningful football.
It’s a risk that the Ravens feel they have to take.
"It’s not a balance with those kind of injuries," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "On one hand, you try to get 100 percent as much done as you possibly can to become as good of a football team as you can. On the other hand, you do 100 percent as much as you can to protect one another in those situations.
"There is no line to walk. A fluke injury is a fluke injury whether you’re running a contact drill or a non-contact drill. You can’t come out here and pack these guys on ice. If you do that, you’re not going to have a football team."
Harbaugh acknowledged that he does worry about injuries, but he can’t afford to dwell on them.
"You just have to move on," he said. "You play the next play. You move the practice on. You always think about that. We want to bring our guys through this thing. The goal is to have everybody.
"You look around the league, guys get tweaked and nicked all the time. Sometimes, it’s more serious. It’s very important."