The injuries, penalties and losses are mounting for the Baltimore Ravens, whose 3-0 start has been negated by three straight defeats.
Baltimore was without several key players Sunday in a 27-23 loss to the New York Giants, and the injury list expanded Monday when coach John Harbaugh confirmed that linebacker Terrell Suggs has a torn left biceps.
“He’s played with that injury before. So he has a chance to come back soon,” Harbaugh said. “How soon remains to be determined.”
Harbaugh acknowledged that the team’s career sack leader probably won’t be ready to play this Sunday against the New York Jets. But he added, “I don’t put anything on Terrell Suggs as impossible.”
The Ravens’ injury report will be lengthy this week. Against the Giants, they used a makeshift offensive line to compensate for the loss of starters Marshal Yanda (shoulder) and Ronnie Stanley (foot). Baltimore was also without top receiver Steve Smith (ankle), kick returner Devin Hester and linebackers C.J. Mosley (thigh) and Elvis Dumervil (foot).
It got worse as the game went on. Cornerback Jimmy Smith missed the entire second half with a concussion, cornerback Jerraud Powers left with a groin injury and Suggs hurt his arm while sacking Eli Manning in the fourth quarter.
Despite playing short-handed, the Ravens (3-3) nearly pulled it out. They led late in the fourth quarter before Manning connected with Odell Beckham for a 66-yard touchdown, the last of a handful of big plays by New York that proved to be the difference.
“It’s the same thing that happened the first eight games last year that we got corrected,” Harbaugh said. “It’s the same thing that cannot continue to happen. It’s not going to continue to happen. The guys who allow it to happen are not going to be out there.”
The game might not have been close if Baltimore didn’t get called for 15 penalties totaling 111 yards. That offset an attack that rolled up 391 yards in its first game under offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
“We get down there in a good position and we go backward instead of forward so it definitely hurts,” said Joe Flacco, who threw for 307 yards. “It’s frustrating.”
The penalties were more maddening to Harbaugh than anything else that transpired in the maddening defeat.
“That is the biggest issue we have on offense,” the coach said. “Why did we bog down?’ Well, it’s because of that. We’re sitting there at first-and-20. So it will continue to be addressed, and it will get corrected because you can’t lose the game if you want to win.”
Every one of Baltimore’s games this season has been decided by six points or fewer. Harbaugh is convinced the Ravens can still make something of this season, regardless of the expansive injury list. But first, they must stop making ill-timed mistakes.
“Our issues are self-inflicted. We can fix them ourselves,” he said. “If I have any frustration, it’s the fact that it’s taken us this long. We won four preseason games, we won our first three games. We had issues in those games as well, but we found a way to win them.”
Lately, however, the Ravens have found a way to lose.
“If we eliminate those penalties, we’re like 6-0,” receiver Mike Wallace said. “We do these every single game. We all have a hand in our offense. It just has to get better.”