Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Sept. 13 that running back Danny Woodhead will likely miss at least a month with the hamstring injury he aggravated during the season-opener at Cincinnati Sept. 10. Harbaugh left open several options for how the team might deal with Woodhead's absence, including adding a running back from another organization.
Harbaugh said Woodhead's hamstring injury is "a little unpredictable, but it's going to be multiple weeks. … It's going to take Danny at least four weeks probably to get back, and we'll see where it goes from there."
The Ravens could place Woodhead on injured reserve and designate him to return, but if they go that route, Woodhead could not play for eight weeks. That would leave him sidelined until Nov. 19 at Green Bay.
"We'll just have to see how [general manager] Ozzie [Newsome] wants to handle it in terms of the roster," Harbaugh said.
Woodhead, 32, was already dealing with a hamstring injury he sustained during the second preseason game at Miami. He returned to practice after the preseason finale, giving him about a week of practice before the regular-season opener. He had missed almost all of last season with a torn ACL while with the San Diego Chargers.
Woodhead, signed as a free agent in March, was expected to be a significant part of the Ravens' passing game, and he had three receptions for 33 yards on the opening series against the Bengals before leaving the game. His injury leaves the Ravens with just two running backs -- Terrance West and Buck Allen -- on the active roster.
The Ravens have two running backs -- Alex Collins and Jeremy Langford -- on the practice squad and could choose to promote one of them for the home opener against Cleveland Sept. 17.
"We've just been trying to get 'em ready, more than anything," Harbaugh said, "and those two guys have done a really good job, studying the offense, and they're healthy guys. So those are two very good options for us. We'll see by the end of the week where we're at at running back."
Any practice squad promotions would need to be done by 4 p.m. Sept. 16.
"I wouldn't rule out someone from another team also," Harbaugh said. "We'll just have to see."
Harbaugh also addressed the comments quarterback Joe Flacco made after the game that receiver Michael Campanaro could be utilized somewhat in Woodhead's third-down role.
"It's a logical assumption, because those type of underneath routes are things that Camp can do," Harbaugh said, "but Michael Campanaro can also run all the receiver routes. … But he's not going to be quite the same guy as far as running the run plays. That's not something he's done, because he plays wide receiver."
FLACCO 'CAME OUT OF THE GAME GREAT': Flacco said he had no lingering issues after the season opener related to the back injury that sidelined him for the entirety of the preseason. "I definitely was very happy with how I woke up the next day, and on Tuesday. … I came out of the game great."
FLACCO HAS NO LIMITATIONS: Flacco was 9-for-17 for 121 yards against the Bengals and rarely threw downfield, but he said there were no limitations on his passing arsenal related to his back injury, and the 20-0 second-half lead dictated the run-heavy play-calling. Flacco threw just three passes during the second half, completing none. "It doesn't really matter to me, we just want to win," Flacco said. He added that there was "no doubt" he could have thrown 40 or 45 passes if the game situation called for it. "Believe me, I have no limitations on Sunday when it comes to throwing the football or moving around."
ZA'DARIUS SMITH INJURY NOT AS BAD AS FEARED: Harbaugh said the knee sprain sustained by outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith at Cincinnati is not as bad as originally thought. "I don't know if he'll be up for this week, but he'll have a chance for next week," Harbaugh said. Smith, who had three tackles and a sack before suffering the injury early in the second quarter, had to be carted off the field. "Man, it was a painful one. On the field, I wanted to give him a leather strap and a shot of whiskey," Harbaugh said.
HALL OF FAME NOMINEES: The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its original list of 108 modern-era nominees for its Class of 2018, and the 11 first-year nominees include two former Ravens -- linebacker Ray Lewis and center Matt Birk. Harbaugh said Lewis is "definitely a first-ballot, unanimous selection to the Hall of Fame, without question. I mean there's no doubt about that. If anybody votes against him, then there's an agenda." The original list will be culled to 25 semifinalists in November and then 15 finalists in January.
PRACTICE ABSENCES: In addition to Woodhead and Smith, other players not present during the portion of practice open to the media Sept. 13 included cornerback Jaylen Hill (hamstring), cornerback Sheldon Price (concussion) and safety Eric Weddle (undisclosed).
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