Steve Smith Sr.’s season was cut short on Nov. 1 after he tore his right achilles tendon in the third quarter.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh confirmed Smith would be out for the rest of the season during the post-game press conference after the Ravens beat the Chargers 29-26.
Harbaugh said during the conference despite Smith’s injury and his retirement announcement at the start of the season, he thinks Smith will return to the game.
“I have a feeling Steve Smith will be back,” he said. “I love him, respect him, admire him…That’s the kind of man he is.”
However, despite Smith’s season-ending injury, he lead the Ravens in receiving during the Nov. 1 game with five catches and 82 yards. Just before his 17-yard gain that lead to injury, Smith passed former NFL wide receiver Cris Carter for tenth in receiving yards.
Smith was eighth in receiving yards heading into week eight and potentially would have been ranked higher if it weren’t for a rib injury he suffered against the Pittsburg Steelers this season.
Despite Smith’s rough season and multiple injuries, he still continued to perform phenomenally on the field. Smith’s induction into the NFL Hall of Fame has been discussed heavily since the start of season, heightening when he announced his retirement.
He received a definitive case for his nomination back in August from NFL writer Chris Wesseling. Wesseling referred to Smith as one of the most “iconic, unstoppable 100-yard forces of his generation” in the article and highlighted Smith’s accomplishments during his 15-year career in the league.
Harbaugh, among others, have said it’s been honor to be apart of what Steve Smith does every day. “It’s been a total honor to, you know, serve as a coach to Steve Smith,” Harbaugh said.
Other praises from opponents, past and present coaches and former and current team players have further proven that Smith is one of the most iconic offensive players of his time. Even if his career was cut a few weeks short, there is no doubt that he will be honored for his hard work in the league sometime soon.