A season-ending injury to Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith might also be a well-timed hit.
Smith, who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury Sunday, was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, ESPN reported.
Smith, the Ravens’ No. 1 cover cornerback, elected to end his appeal and begin serving his suspension after tearing his Achilles in Sunday’s 44-20 victory over the Detroit Lions.
The Ravens are expected to place Smith on injured reserve. The suspension will cost Smith a total of $182,352. Smith would have lost $2 million if he hadn’t restructured his deal in August.
Had Smith not been injured he could have missed the final four regular-season games and returned for a potential playoff game depending on the outcome of his appeal.
Smith was dealing with the Achilles injury for several weeks and mostly practiced in full only once or twice per week during that time.
Injuries are nothing new for Smith, who has missed 17 games over the past four seasons.
Without their top cover man, the Ravens will slide rookie first-round pick Marlon Humphrey to Smith’s spot in the starting lineup when Baltimore plays at AFC North-leading Pittsburgh Sunday night.