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Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin will have surgery today to repair a slight tear in his meniscus, and he is expected to miss the final two weeks of the regular season, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh announced today.
Boldin should be able to return for the playoffs.
“He will be back for the playoffs, whichever round we have to play in,” Harbaugh said. “It will be a little tighter if we have to play in the first round.”
Harbaugh said that Boldin’s knee “flapped up” after the team’s walk-through on Tuesday.
Boldin leads the Ravens with 887 receiving yards on 57 catches this season, and has been the team’s top wide receiver for the last two seasons. This will be the first time in his two years with the Ravens that Boldin will miss games.
His absence in the final two regular-season games against Cleveland and Cincinnati likely means that rookie Torrey Smith and veteran receiver Lee Evans will be the top two receiving options.
“It’s a big loss for us,” Smith said. “Anquan’s our leader. We’re definitely going to miss him out there on the field as a player. For us, we’ve got to step up. It’s too important for us to play well right now to have any letdowns. The whole team is depending on us to play well and we’ve got to go out there and do it.”
“It’s an opportunity,” Evans added. “Whatever’s called on me to do, I’ll be ready to do. I’ve been working to get back to this point and now I’m getting the opportunity.”
As the third receiver, the Ravens will turn to rookie wide receivers LaQuan Williams or Tandon Doss to get into the rotation.
“You want to get your young guys out there on the field as much as you can,” Harbaugh said. “You don’t want to do it before they’re ready to have success and I think those guys are very much ready to have success.”
Both Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco said that second-year tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson could be called upon more in the receiving game.
“We’ve got two tight ends that are really good so we’re going to go out there and still attack and do everything we know how to do,” Flacco said. “Obviously, we’re going to miss Anquan, but it’s an opportunity for him to get better and hopefully he’ll come back strong.”
When Boldin returns for the playoffs, the Ravens are confident he will be able to get back into the mix without being slowed down too much because of time off.
“Always a concern, but probably not as much with Anquan,” Harbaugh said. “I would think he’ll be OK.”