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There are 52 million painful reasons why Ravens could lose to one-win Jets

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Can Geno lead Jets past Ravens? (0:31)

Mark Schlereth and Antonio Pierce don't see Geno Smith leading the Jets to a victory over the Ravens. (0:31)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens should be positioned to win their first game since Sept. 25 when they play the reeling New York Jets on Sunday.

The Jets have lost each of their past four games by double digits. They are coming off a short week after playing in Arizona on Monday night. And they're making the switch to Geno Smith, whose career completion rate of 58 percent is the worst among 41 quarterbacks with at least 500 attempts since 2013.

Why aren't the Ravens (3-3) overwhelming favorites over the last-place Jets (1-5)? Nine players, who account for $52.83 million of Baltimore's salary cap, didn't practice Wednesday. That means 34 percent of the Ravens' cap was not on the field on the first full practice of the week.

"It’s the challenge of the sport, especially in the National Football League," coach John Harbaugh said of injuries. "It’s just the way it is. Everybody is dealing with it."

Not everyone is dealing with the same number of injuries as the Ravens. Only the Indianapolis Colts had as many players sidelined with injuries as Baltimore on Wednesday.

The Ravens' injuries cut to the heart of the team. Five of their eight highest-paid players in terms of cap space are sidelined.

Quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens are optimistic he'll play Sunday with a right shoulder injury. But there are no guarantees. If Flacco does see the field, his throwing arm won't be at full strength and could get injured further.

"It is just a matter of how I'm going to feel," Flacco said of his availability. "I think this [taking practice off] today and just staying in there and doing some rehab and trying to get warmed up a little bit was probably the best thing."

Beyond a banged-up quarterback, the Ravens were without six Pro Bowl players: linebackers Terrell Suggs (biceps), Elvis Dumervil (foot) and C.J. Mosley (hamstring), wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. (ankle), guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder) and returner Devin Hester (thigh). Cornerback Jimmy Smith hasn't passed the concussion protocol and was limited in practice.

Harbaugh has essentially ruled out Suggs and Yanda, and Dumervil will likely be out as well. The others will either be listed as questionable or doubtful.

It's possible the Ravens could be without their top wide receiver (Steve Smith), best two pass-rushers (Suggs and Dumervil), top playmaker on defense (Mosley), three of their top four cornerbacks (Jimmy Smith, Shareece Wright and Jerraud Powers) and one of the NFL's best linemen (Yanda).

It's the second consecutive season the Ravens have dealt with widespread injuries, and Baltimore has to take some responsibility for it because it relies on older players. Six of the nine players who are sidelined are players who are over the age of 30.

This certainly evens the playing field for a Jets team that ranks No. 26 in offense and No. 23 in defense.