OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- While many suggested Jimmy Smith's season-ending injury has derailed the Baltimore Ravens' season, it's not surprising that coach John Harbaugh feels differently about the situation.
"We'll be fine. We'll recover," Harbaugh said after Friday's practice. "We've got good players at every position, and we'll pick up the slack as a group and as a unit. It happens all around the league. It's just the way it is. It's football."
When the swelling went down in Smith's left foot, he went for an exam in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Thursday. It showed that the ligaments in his foot were stretched between the bone, and highly regarded orthopedist Dr. Robert Anderson opted for surgery.
Harbaugh wasn't surprised, because Ravens trainer Mark Smith told him that he was worried about what might happen.
"I feel bad for Jimmy," Harbaugh said. "He's having a great, great year. But he'll bounce back and be better next year."
"I don't see any surprises on that one," Harbaugh said of Jackson. "He's progressing really well from what I've been told."
Jimmy Smith's season-ending surgery is the just the latest injury to a key player on the Ravens. Eight starters have missed at least one game this season: tight ends Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels, left tackle Eugene Monroe, guard Kelechi Osemele, defensive end Chris Canty and cornerbacks Smith, Jackson and LarDarius Webb.
"Mark [Smith, the trainer] will come up to me, and all of a sudden I fear when he comes walking around the corner," Harbaugh said with a smile. "What do you want now? Stay away from me."