The Baltimore Ravens may have taken victory against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, but they might have possibly permanently lost their wide receiver, Steve Smith Sr., in the process.
In the third quarter of the Ravens’ 29-26 win over the Chargers, Smtih went down with 1 minute and 59 seconds left after catching a 17-yard pass to convert a third down. Following this, he began motioning towards his right heel and lay on the ground, unable to move on his own.
Smith, 36, suffered a torn Achilles tendon and is ultimately out for the rest of the season. This might be a costly turn for the Ravens as they have only won twice this season, so without their veteran wide receiver, they may continue to struggle moving forward.
“What hurts the most is that I can’t be out there with my guys,” said Smith in a statement after the game. “We had a great team win today, and that’s really all that counts.”
Previously, it was reported that the Ravens had been informing inquiring teams that Smith was not available for trade. John Harbaugh, coach of the Ravens, said there was “no chance” he would trade Smith. In turn, Smith said he would quit if he was traded. This came amidst Smith’s announcements of retirement, claiming this season would be his last.
But will it really be the last, especially considering his recent injury? Harbaugh thinks otherwise this time.
“I have a feeling Steve Smith will be back,” he said. “When he first came here a year and a half ago, he and I had a conversation at my house. We talked about — that you’re going to write the final chapters of your career in a way that nobody expects.”
“Nobody is going to write these final chapters for you,” he added. “So I’m looking forward to seeing how this story ends.”
Smith is a five-time Pro-Bowl selection and a three-time All-Pro. He spent his entire career with the Carolina Panthers until he signed with the Ravens in 2014. By 2011, he became the 35th NFL player in history to amass 10,000 receiving yards.
With his torn Achilles tendon, Smith’s retirement has befallen his team earlier than expected. Whether or not he returns and exceeds his 15-year NFL career will be all up to him and his recovery.
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