If former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis truly believes there was a blackout conspiracy during last year's Super Bowl, I wonder if he also believes that rookie Brynden Trawick was paid to take out Ravens wideout Jacoby Jones on Thursday night.
Jones was a thorn in the side of the Denver Broncos in last year's epic divisional round playoff game, catching a 70-yard game-tying touchdown pass just before the end of regulation. He would not receive an opportunity to repeat such acts during Thursday's season opener, thanks to Mr. Trawick and a bizarre special teams mishap.
As Jones was readying to field the fair catch on a second-quarter punt, Trawick collided with Jones at near full speed. Jones remained on the ground in pain for an extended period and apparently suffered a knee injury. Mike Klis of The Denver Post tweeted:
Jones, who became the Ravens' No. 2 receiver following the offseason departure of Anquan Boldin, had caught three passes for 24 yards before exiting the game.
With Jones out, the Ravens will likely look to rookie receiver Marlon Brown to complement Torrey Smith and Brandon Stokley in multiple-receiver sets.
Brown, a 6'4", 213-pound undrafted rookie out of Georgia, will now have an opportunity to make a name for himself, but he may have a difficult time replicating the dynamic Jones in the offense.
The 29-year-old Jones is the only proven deep threat, aside from Smith, currently on the Ravens roster, and Baltimore may be forced to rely on a more conservative offense with him out of the lineup.
Of course, the Ravens can always lean on Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce and the running game to move the football. However, Brown is going to have to find a way to deliver if the team is to have any realistic chance against some of the league's top offenses.
Hopefully, Jones' injury will not become a long-term setback and Trawick's mistake won't be sparking any new conspiracy theories.