The Ravens escaped with an overtime win over the Steelers on Sunday, but they suffered a huge loss on defense. Safety Tony Jefferson tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season, coach John Harbaugh announced after the game.
“He at least has an ACL and probably more, so he’ll be out for the season as it stands right now,” Harbaugh said. It’s a really tough blow for a Ravens secondary that has already suffered a rash of injuries and has been struggling. Cornerback Tavon Young was lost for the season with a neck injury during training camp, and cornerback Jimmy Smith has missed each of the past four games with a knee injury. Unsurprisingly the pass-defense has struggled, and the Ravens were allowing 9.0 yards per pass attempt entering Sunday, which was 30th in the league.
Jefferson has only missed three games since entering the league as an undrafted free agent with the Cardinals back in 2013. He signed a four-year, $34MM deal with Baltimore in March of 2017, and has started 30 games the past two years. The Oklahoma product is set to have a $7MM base salary next season in the final year of his deal. With the way their secondary has been struggling, it’s definitely possible the Ravens could look to bring in a veteran safety from outside the building. If they don’t, youngsters Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott will fill in.
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