Jimmy Smith is back and thankful to be suiting up.
“Amazing. Simply amazing. I missed it. I missed being around the guys,” he said.
The Ravens best cornerback is participating in his first practices of the regular season this week since finishing up his four-game suspension. The NFL banned him for the first quarter of the season for violating its personal conduct policy. He showed some emotion when talking about the moment he learned of his suspension.
“I was devastated for the simple fact that I’d be missing games. It sucks to miss games. I feel like I let my team down. So, that part, yeah it hurts. It really hurts.”
Smith said the time away gave him an opportunity to get his life in order.
“You get time to kind of recalibrate personally and, I guess, everything. You think about life.”
He also hired a new trainer and nutritionist while suspended.
“I went ahead and tried to further my body and take a new approach holistically.”
Smith said he can’t talk about what led to his suspension because of legal reasons.
Head coach John Harbaugh said if Smith practices well this week, and is healthy, he’ll play on Sunday.
As for Sunday’s opponent, the Ravens visit Cleveland. And these aren’t your same old Browns. Cleveland owns a record of 1-2-1, but could very well be 4-0.
They also have dynamic rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. The first overall draft pick will be making the first home start of his career.
“I think Baker Mayfield’s this generation’s Brett Favre or John Elway, if you will,” said Ravens Defensive Coordinator Don Martindale. “This guy knows where he wants to go with the ball and he’s very accurate.”
“I like him. I like his swag, his edginess,” said Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs.
“(He) makes good decisions. Got a live arm. Moves around in the pocket well. Extends plays,” added Ravens safety Eric Weddle.
The Ravens should also have their hands full against the run. Cleveland has the league’s second-ranked ground game averaging 152.8 yards per game.