The Ravens lost their top corner to a foot injury, as Jimmy Smith underwent surgery on his right foot. The decision to have surgery had essentially ended his season, and the team made it official today as Smith was placed on the IR, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
The Ravens signed cornerback Rashaan Melvin off of the Dolphins’ practice squad to provide them help at corner. The 6’2″ defensive back was on IR last year with the Buccaneers, and was released this past September, when the Dolphins signed him.
Smith, 26, was drafted in the first-round in the 2011 NFL Draft. Although he struggled at times early in his rookie season, he excelled late in the year and played a huge role in the Super Bowl win over the 49ers. Since then, he has overtaken Lardarius Webb as the best defensive back on the team.
Now, as the team nears a decision on his future, the injury has robbed Smith of the back half of his best season as a pro. Had he kept his play at this level through the end of the season, and possibly into the playoffs, he could have been in line for a monster extension comparable to some of the top ten cornerbacks in the league. The Ravens will likely still do whatever is needed to keep Smith on the roster going forward, but the price tag may have come down after the injury.