Today, Jimmy Smith made a surprise return to practice by participating in the Ravens minicamp. Smith tore his Achilles last December. He sustained the non-contact injury during a regular season game against the Lions. Smith, who has had a history of Achilles injuries, was expected to miss at least eight months. Now, just six months later, Smith returns to practice. Along with Smith, linebacker Albert McClellan returns to practice as well. McClellan suffered a torn ACL, a season-ending injury, in training camp last year. Usually, the Ravens are suffering new injuries during this time of year, but today, Baltimore gets their best cornerback and a solid linebacker back.
Jimmy Smith has dealt with many injuries throughout his career. While he missed a lot of time on the field, he’s made up for it when healthy. Jimmy Smith has always been a solid cornerback, but last year, he made the jump to lockdown cornerback. Jimmy Smith led the league in many metrics and held opposing passers to extremely low quarterback ratings. He was part of a Ravens defense that shut out opponents, an astounding three times last year. Smith was obviously a major part in that defense, and the unit was not the same without him.
Albert McClellan is a veteran linebacker who has been with the Ravens his entire career. He was signed by Baltimore as an undrafted free agent after the 2010 NFL Draft. He has typically been a backup for most of his career but has found his way into rotations as well. When he gets the opportunity, McClellan does not disappoint. McClellan’s best season came in 2016, with 55 combined tackles. He was looking to continue his success in 2017 before his season was derailed by injury. With the plethora of young linebackers, McClellan will serve as a role model to the younger guys, like Tyus Bowser, Tim Williams, and Kenny Young.