Cornerback Jimmy Smith had surgery Thursday morning in Philadelphia to repair a groin injury that has troubled him for weeks, dealing yet another blow to a maligned Ravens secondary.
Smith, who could return this season, missed last week’s game for the Ravens, a 55-20 win vs. the Oakland Raiders, and was replaced by Corey Graham.
Losing him comes at a crucial time for the Ravens, who play the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers in two of the next three weeks. They meet at Heinz Field on Sunday in a prime-time NBC game.
Smith stepped in for starter Lardarius Webb, who had a season-ending knee ligament tear last month. Anticipating the need for more depth in the secondary signed free agent Chris Johnson earlier this week. Johnson has played nine seasons in the NFL.
“Every time you lose somebody it has an impact,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said.
The Ravens' secondary has been banged up all season. Safety Bernard Pollard has been bothered by a rib injury he sustatined in Week 2 when a teammate's helmet smashed into him as they sacked the quarterback. Pollard wasn't wearing rib-protecting pads.
Safety Ed Reed has been playing with torn cartilage in his shoulder as early as Week 3. He went out with a "stinger" in the Oakland game and struggled to leave the field.