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Injuries continue to derail Michael Campanaro's career

Another promising season for Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Michael Campanaro turned into a frustrating one.

Campanaro was placed on injured reserve Saturday with a back injury, ending his season just when it looked like he was finding his niche on the team. A source said Friday that Campanaro had back spasms, but a magnetic resonance imaging test revealed a herniated disc. It wasn't considered a season-ending injury, but the Ravens needed to free up a roster spot because of a lack of depth at wide receiver.

Durability was one of the reasons why Campanaro lasted until the seventh round in 2014. Since joining the Ravens 17 months ago, Campanaro has been sidelined with injuries to his hamstring, quadriceps and now back.

Last year, issues with his hamstring caused him to miss some offseason workouts and sidelined him for seven regular-season games. This year he suffered a slight quadriceps tear on the first day of organized team activities in May and didn't come back until training camp.

There hasn't been much question of the impact Campanaro can make on the field. It's just whether he can remain on the field.

Campanaro scored a 45-yard touchdown in the preseason opener, and he then missed the final three preseason games with a soft tissue injury.

On Thursday night he became only the second Ravens wide receiver to score on a touchdown run, faking out Steelers linebacker Arthur Moats in the open field for a nine-yard touchdown. He then needed a wheelchair to get to the team bus and was ruled out for the season two days later.

Campanaro was just beginning to make plays for the Ravens as a receiver and returner when he suffered the back injury. He caught five passes for 35 yards and ran twice for 17 yards. He also averaged 16.3 yards on punt returns (eighth in the NFL) and 26.3 yards on kickoff returns (18th).

The Ravens filled Campanaro's spot with Chris Givens, who was traded from the St. Louis Rams.

Campanaro, who played high school football in the Baltimore area, was limited to four games as a rookie and now four games in his second season. This is reminiscent of Brandon Stokley, a 1999 Ravens draft pick who was full of potential but struggled to stay healthy. Stokley went on to play 15 NFL seasons.

For Campanaro, his future is uncertain until he proves he can remain healthy.