The Ravens scored a big win in Seattle but also suffered a big loss with a season-ending injury to veteran outside linebacker Pernell McPhee.
“Looks like he has a torn triceps,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “If he has a torn triceps, which I believe he does, that would preclude the rest of his season.”
McPhee, 30, had three sacks in the Ravens’ first six games, the second-most on the team. He also had 19 tackles and was a physical presence on the line of scrimmage.
It was a looking like a resurgence from the 30-year-old veteran, who signed a one-year deal with the Ravens this offseason after four years away with the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins. He had zero sacks in 13 games last year with the Redskins.
It was just six games, plus some action in Seattle, but McPhee showed he can still be a difference-maker. In the wake of the loss of defensive veterans such as Terrell Suggs and C.J. Mosley, McPhee made sure Baltimore maintained that old-school physicality and swagger.
Harbaugh said he and McPhee talked a little in the locker room after the win in Seattle and then again Monday in the training room about the statement he made this season.
“He wanted to prove himself. He wanted to get back on track and demonstrate that he still could play,” Harbaugh said.
“To do it here, to be the leader that he was … he’s been instrumental. He’s been instrumental with the young guys, been a very good player for us. I see no reason why he can’t recover from the triceps injury and be back next year stronger than ever.”
With McPhee out, rookie third-round pick Jaylon Ferguson saw a career-high 46 snaps (64 percent of the defensive action). Defensive end Jihad Ward also saw 39 snaps (54 percent). Both made their presence felt, and Ferguson especially flashed with a tackle for loss, quarterback hit and three tackles overall.
McPhee took Ferguson under his wing this offseason, and now the Ravens will need the young linebacker to step up in a big way.
“Jaylon played very well. He played his best game,” Harbaugh said. “Very physical game and against a couple really big, grabby tackles to say the least. He was strong at the point of attack, applied pressure and ran to the ball. I thought he played really well.”
Fellow outside linebacker Tyus Bowser also had his best game yet and finished as the team’s top-graded defender, according to Pro Football Focus. Bowser saw 22 snaps and had two quarterback hurries.
“Tyus played really well. Tyus had a good game,” Harbaugh said. “Tyus was all over the field. He had pressures, he had tackles, he had quarterback hits. We had a lot of guys that had a good game.”