The Ravens’ Path to the Super Bowl Just Became Even More Difficult Thanks to Another Season-Altering Injury Blow to a Crucial Piece
The Baltimore Ravens narrowly escaped their Week 9 game against the Minnesota Vikings with a thrilling overtime victory. Even though they squeaked out the win, the Ravens also suffered a significant loss. Safety DeShon Elliott is the latest victim of the injury bug that has run rampant through Baltimore’s locker room since training camp.
As the injuries continue to pile up, the Ravens’ path to the Super Bowl gets harder to navigate.
DeShon Elliott suffered a potentially season-ending injury against the Vikings
As if the Baltimore Ravens haven’t endured enough bad luck, they received devastating news on one of their best defensive players.
Starting free safety DeShon Elliott suffered a potentially season-ending injury during the Ravens’ overtime win over the Vikings.
According to the Ravens Twitter page, head coach John Harbaugh believes Elliott will be out for the remainder of the 2021 NFL season due to a torn pectoral muscle and bicep.
“The guy’s so courageous. He gutted it out through all that,” said Harbaugh on Elliott. “But he’s going to be out, so that’s a major loss for us.”
Elliott is one of the most important players on Wink Martindale’s defense. The Ravens drafted him in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and he turned out to be a diamond in the rough.
The Texas product worked his way up the depth chart and put a stranglehold on Baltimore’s starting free safety spot next to Chuck Clark. Elliott brings a confident swagger and physicality that the Ravens’ defense is usually known for.
This unit is desperately going to miss his presence and energy on the football field.
The injuries continue to pile up for Baltimore
No NFL team has been hit harder in 2021 than the Baltimore Ravens. DeShon Elliott’s untimely injury is just the latest in a laundry list of key players John Harbaugh’s squad is missing.
The Ravens lost several integral pieces before the regular season even started.
Projected starting running back J.K. Dobbins suffered a season-ending ACL injury in Baltimore’s preseason finale against the Washington Football Team.
Gus Edwards’ presence on the roster provided hope that the Ravens’ running game wouldn’t miss a beat. However, he tore his ACL in practice just four days before the season opener. To make matters worse, All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters tore his ACL in the same practice.
Third-string running back Justice Hill and linebacker L.J. Fort also suffered season-ending injuries before playing a regular-season snap.
Pro Bowl offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley returned from a season-ending injury in 2020 but played just one game in 2021 before going down.
First-round draft pick Rashod Bateman, defensive tackle Derek Wolfe, and backup cornerback Chris Westry have also battled injuries. The good news for Baltimore, though, is that all three have returned to action.
The Ravens would be surefire Super Bowl contenders, if healthy
The Baltimore Ravens are currently sitting at 6-2 through the first eight games of the 2021 season. When the Las Vegas Raiders knocked them off in the primetime season opener, questions emerged about if the Ravens could overcome all of the preseason injuries.
Baltimore has proven to be a resilient football team, though. Outside of the blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7, John Harbaugh’s team has been competitive in every game.
In the past, the narrative was that the Ravens couldn’t play from behind. They have debunked that myth in 2021, with three comeback victories.
Lamar Jackson is a major reason why this team is second place in the AFC. The fourth-year quarterback continues to prove the doubters wrong. He’s elevated his game as a passer and is playing at an MVP level.
Baltimore has attained success at the midway point of the season without its top two running backs, best offensive lineman, and an elite playmaking corner. Adding DeShon Elliott to the mix deals another crushing blow.
The Ravens have gotten up every time they’ve been knocked down, but the injuries are adding up.
An NFL season is a war of attrition. The Baltimore Ravens have won battles, but can they win the war?
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.