Jimmy Smith: 'I Have A Lot of Football Left in Me'

Todd Karpovich

When Jimmy Smith is healthy, he is one of the Ravens' most effective playmakers.

However, the veteran cornerback has been hampered with injuries throughout his nine-year career.

Smith returned to the lineup Week 9 against the Patriots after injuring his knee in the opener against the Dolphins. He is eager to play a critical role with the Ravens' playoff push over the second half of the season. 

"I have a lot of football left in me," said Smith, who was drafted by the Ravens in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. "These injuries, they suck. They weigh on you a little bit, but you just keep fighting. I have a great team, a great organization that backs me 100 percent all the time, and they make it a little bit easier.”

Smith has played all 16 regular-season games just twice in his NFL career, He's dealt with a a torn Achilles tendon, Lisfranc foot surgery, a sports hernia, concussions, a lower back ailment and the knee injury.

But he has managed to battle back each time. 

"Jimmy has done a great job of fighting through those things," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He's had some misfortune with some of that stuff, and he's always done nothing but battle back. I remember the first year in 2012 when he had the injury and he and I were battling it out back and forth about whether he was actually going to come back, and he fought through that then, with some encouragement."

Smith had to leave in the first quarter Sept. 8 against the Dolphins with a Grade 2 MCL sprain. He has spent the past seven weeks rehabbing at the Ravens practice facility.

The Ravens secondary struggled with Smith out of the lineup and was ranked 26th against the pass, allowing 265.4 yard passing per game. The Ravens (6-2) acquired cornerback Marcus Peters in a trade with the Rams. Peters made an immediate impact with a pick-six against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 7.

The defensive backs have played better over the most recent four-game winning streak.

Smith was solid in his return to the revamped lineup against the Patriots. The Ravens were solid containing Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who completed 30 of 46 pass attempts for 285 yards with a touchdown and an interception. 

The Ravens have a different challenge Week 10 against the winless Cincinnati Bengals. Rookie quarterback Ryan Finley will make his first start in place of the veteran Andy Dalton. The Ravens will spend the week watching film of Finley to get a better idea of his tendencies.

Jimmy Smith already got a jump on the assignment. He's looking forward to being back on the field. 

"I personally YouTube-ed him yesterday, just to see what he’s like, see how he throws," Smith said. "I’ve heard what our coaches tell us and watched a little bit of the preseason, but we’ll figure it out when we get out there.”