Worst Injuries in the History of the Baltimore Ravens

The NFL is one of the most followed physical sports worldwide. Due to the nature of the game, injuries are common. However, some injuries not only derail NFL teams for years but also cost players their careers. If you look at the list of some of the worst gruesome injuries in the history of the NFL, you will find a long list of names, including Napoleon McCallum, Johnny Knox, and Rashad Johnson.

The focus will be on the Baltimore Ravens, one of the most competitive NFL teams with fans across the globe. Over the years, the Ravens have had their fair share of bad luck with their players suffering horrible injuries.

J.K. Dobbins

J.K. Dobbins’ accident is one of the few recent injuries in sports that had sports betting fans shaking. The former running back from Ohio State suffered one of the worst season-ending knee injuries which, according to the MRI, entailed a torn ACL. The injury occurred on a Saturday night in the preseason when the Baltimore Ravens were playing against the Washington Football Team. Even though Baltimore ended up winning the game 37-3, it was evident that they were not going to have one of the youngest running backs in the NFL available for the entire 2021 regular season. 

Despite being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens as a second round draft pick, Dobbins had proven to be among the most promising players on the NFL. In 2020, J.K. Dobbins made nine touchdowns and ran 805 yards, making him one of the best players on the team. Dobbins was the second ex-Buckeye to experience a season-ending ACL injury prior to the 2021 season after linebacker Raekwon McMillan suffered a torn ACL in a preseason practice for the New England Patriots.

Gus Edwards

Gus Edwards, born in Liberia, suffered a season-ending knee injury in preseason practice. The practice was ended given that Edwards was the second Ravens player to suffer a serious knee injury during the practice session. After the practice, it was confirmed that Edwards had a torn ACL. Edwards was poised to lead the Ravens backfield as they headed into the 2021 regular season after Dobbins went down with his season-ending knee injury. Edwards is considered one of the most prolific players despite being signed as an undrafted free agent. The injury crippled the Ravens, with Edwards being added to a long list of players on injured reserve.

Jamal Lewis

In 2001, Jamal Lewis tore his ACL during a preseason practice. What made Lewis’ torn ACL one of the most horrific injuries for the team is that it robbed the Ravens the chance to win another Super Bowl. At first, the medical team available during training diagnosed the injury as a bruise, and Lewis walked off the field holding his kneecap. However, after an MRI, it was discovered that Jamal Lewis tore his anterior cruciate ligament, making it impossible for him to lead the Ravens through the remainder of the season. 

According to then Ravens coach Brian Billick, Jamal had worked so hard for the season. Furthermore, he was their most important player, which is why his ACL injury was a hard hit for both the Ravens' players and fans. Even though he missed the entire season, his recovery was incredible, as he came back to lead the NFL in rushing with over 2,000 yards in 2003, falling just short of the NFL single-season record for rushing yards.

L.J. Fort

The Baltimore Ravens seem to suffer more torn ACL injuries than most teams in the NFL. During the 2021 preseason, the veteran defender L.J. Fort tore his ACL while playing against the Carolina Panthers. The season-ending injury saw the linebacker pave the way for Kristian Welch, who is entering his second year in the NFL. According to the latest player contract details, L.J. Fort had just signed a 1-year contract with a substantial veteran salary. The injury also meant that linebackers Chris Board, Patrick Queen, and Malik Harrison would be considered to help the Ravens battle through the coming games. 

Fort is a former Northern Iowa player who in 2012 was signed as a linebacker by the Cleveland Browns. After playing for several teams, Fort signed a contract with the Ravens in September 2019, later extended in November 2019.

Rashod Bateman

Rashod Bateman is a former University of Minnesota football player drafted by the Ravens in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft. He is also among the players who suffered one of the worst injuries in the history of the Ravens. Though not career-ending as Alex Smith's gruesome leg injury, Bateman’s torn groin is one of the injuries that handicapped the Ravens. Bateman was placed on the injured reserve after he suffered the groin injury during preseason practice. The injury required surgery, which despite going perfectly, required the wide receiver to take some time off the field. Fortunately, Rashod Bateman received the injury shortly after the roster cutdown deadline, or else it would have led to the end of his season. Bateman’s injury posed a challenge to the Baltimore Ravens passing attack.

Ronnie Stanley

Ronnie Stanley was done for the season in 2020 after he fractured and dislocated his ankle. The offensive tackle suffered the injury while playing the Steelers. The injury of the ankle was termed serious but not career-ending, as he was placed on injured reserve. 

Ironically, Stanley suffered the injury just a few days after he had signed a $98.75 million five-year contract extension with the Ravens. According to coach John Harbaugh, Stanley is one of the best offensive tackle players in the NFL with stunning statistics, leading to the massive contract compared to some of his fellow teammates. Stanley began his football career at Notre Dame. He was selected by the Ravens as the 6th overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. In 2019, Stanley earned first-team All-Pro honors.

Nick Boyle

Nick Boyle is one of the top players for the Ravens, known for his fantastic tight end play. However, on November 15, 2020, Nick Boyle was carted off to the locker room after being tackled at the knees while catching a short pass while the Ravens were losing to the Patriots. Before exiting, Nick Boyle had made only a single catch for four yards. After diagnosis, it was ascertained that the helmet to Boyle's ankle damaged his hamstring, MCL, and PCL, ending his season. He was placed on the injured reserve for the remainder of the 2020 regular season and remained on IR to start the 2021 season. Even though there were no damages to his ACL, the rest of Nick Boyle's knee was seriously damaged.

These are some of the worst injuries in the history of the Baltimore Ravens. In addition to being traumatizing, it required some of the best players to be placed on injured reserve, putting the team at a disadvantage. For instance, the injuries for players such as Stanley, Dobbins, and Lewis saw the team lose key players at critical positions, thus weakening the team’s lineups. While most of the injuries occurred on the field due to collisions between players, others happened during training camp. Regardless of where and when the injuries occurred, they had a significant impact on the team and the players as well.

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