Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. saw his 2015 season cut short after he tore his Achilles tendon, but he has his eyes on a comeback in 2016.
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Smith May Be Ready for Training Camp
Thursday, Jan. 7
He played seven games in 2015 before he tore his Achilles against the San Diego Chargers on Nov. 1 and finished with 670 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He appeared well on his way to another 1,000-yard campaign as Joe Flacco’s top option in the aerial attack before the setback and was actually eighth in the league at the time of the injury.
Smith topped 1,000 receiving yards eight different times in his career, including three of the previous four seasons coming into the 2015 campaign.
While he said he planned on retiring following the 2015 season before the injury, he is fully committed to a comeback at this point.
Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com noted the receiver’s walking boot was removed Monday and shared some comments from Smith regarding his age (he will be 37 in May): “Before I got hurt, you all didn’t think I would be able to put up the numbers that I was at 36. So, will I be able to put up numbers at 37? To be honest, you guys don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, so it doesn’t matter.”
Only Jerry Rice, who is widely considered the best wide receiver in NFL history, reached the 1,000-yard plateau after turning 37 years old, and he did so twice (2001 at age 39 and 2002 at age 40). Smith seemed ready to join some elite company in 2016, per Hensley:
I think what you need to do is let me play and quit commenting about my play, because every time you all tell me something I can’t do, then you have a reason [for] why I’m doing it. I was 36 years old and close to the Top 5. Just let me play. Quit asking me what I’m going to put up. I’m going to put up the numbers I’m going to put up, and I’ll contribute the way I contribute at 37.
Smith is motivated and is well on the path to recovery heading into the offseason. That may be exactly the boost the Ravens need following a disappointing and injury-riddled 5-11 season.