Ravens Lose Webb, Lewis for Season and More AFC North News
Sunday's win for the Baltimore Ravens suddenly turned into a loss in other ways. Cornerback Lardarius Webb's season is over with a torn ACL, and the team fears that linebacker Ray Lewis is also done for the year with a torn triceps.
This has been a transition season for the Ravens' defense, which is without linebacker (and 2011 Defensive Player of the Year) Terrell Suggs for at least the rest of October after he tore his Achilles' tendon in training during the spring and lost Cory Redding and Jarrett Johnson in free agency.
It's been a tough battle for the Ravens to both find ways to pressure quarterbacks as well as stop the run. There have been hiccups, and Baltimore is giving up more rushing yards per game than ever, but losing these two key defenders and leaders makes the task that much more difficult.
Baltimore faces the Houston Texans next week before their Week 8 bye.
It doesn't help that the Ravens' defense was struggling even before these two key injuries in Sunday's win over the Dallas Cowboys. Kevin Cowherd of the Baltimore Sun says that this current Ravens defense is but a shell of its formerly intimidating self.
Stephen Gillam of Bleacher Report is more optimistic, saying that the Ravens' season is going to be just fine despite the injuries to Webb and Lewis.
Bleacher Report's Matt Gray breaks down the Bengals' winners and losers from the Cleveland defeat.
Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer was particularly impressed with the performance of Cleveland Browns running back Montario Hardesty on Sunday. Hardesty took over lead rushing duties after Trent Richardson left the contest with the Bengals with a rib injury and ran 15 times for 56 yards and a touchdown.
After that strong running performance by Hardesty and the general belief that Richardson's injury isn't serious, Thomas Galicia of Bleacher Report predicts the Browns will be able to run at will against the Indianapolis Colts defense next week.
In a surprising move, reports Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Steelers released tight end Weslye Saunders on Friday, just when he was eligible to return to the team after a four-game suspension. Saunders appeared in every game in 2011 but is apparently now being passed over for Todd Haley favorite Leonard Pope and 2012 draft pick David Paulson.
There was a lot of speculation surrounding just what kind of contract Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace was looking for over the summer while he held out of training camp. Bleacher Report's Chris G. wonders if Wallace's season thus far has earned him that kind of Larry Fitzgerald-esque cash.
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