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Are the Baltimore Ravens Faking It 'Til They Make It?

NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 10:  Safety Ed Reed #20 of the Baltimore Ravens reacts after the Ravens stopped the Tennessee Titans on fourth down to win the game during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game on January 10, 2009 at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Jarrett CarterAnalyst ISeptember 2, 2009

It would be one thing if the Ravens had injuries at positions eased by great depth; you know, like running back or offensive guard?

Instead, several Pro Bowl-level Ravens are injured, and if the injuries are serious, they could significantly derail the Ravens' chances for a playoff berth, let alone the Super Bowl.

So here’s hoping that the preseason is little more than rehab for the slowed Ravens stars. We know that Terrell Suggs has a thing for not playing in the preseason, so what's the whole business with his heel? Let’s hope that's just an annual “Ya’ll Know My Foot Ain’t Right” preseason clause built into his NFL-contract/UPI-14411247774558/">new contract.

We know that there’s no faking to Ed Reed’s neck injury. While the nerve impingement doesn’t limit him in making solid plays on the ball for interceptions, it does limit his effectiveness in run defense—something that was an integral part of the Ravens' success in years past.

Kelly Gregg is returning from knee surgery, but now has problems with his shoulder. Yeah, you can hope that’s just something to throw the scouts off before the Kansas City game.

Samari Rolle may have been slightly more expandable than Mark Clayton, but putting your money on oft-injured Demetrius Williams and Derrick Mason, who probably still feels effects from his shoulder injury of a year ago, isn’t the surest of bets—even if they’d like you to believe otherwise.

Every NFL team deals with a plethora of injuries, but the Ravens aren’t a team like the New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers, whose systems compensate for deficiencies in talent.

The hope is that the injury reports flowing out of Owings Mills are calculated messages alerting the rest of the league to watch out for a rested Ravens group.

But if they truly are this banged up prior to week one, the hopes of Ravens faithful will join the squad on the “unable to perform” list.

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