The Browns defensive line has been increasingly effective in recent weeks, showing greater resilience against the run and assisting in several quarterback sacks. Heading into this weekend's battle with the Ravens, however, the line will be at a significant disadvantage.
The Browns have downgraded DL Shaun Smith to "out" for tomorrow's game against the Baltimore Ravens. Smith hurt his knee in practice on Thursday, and was listed as "questionable" on Friday's injury report.
The Browns have said that Smith's injury will not require surgery.
The injury leaves the Browns with a difficult situation on their defensive line against the Ravens. Aging warrior Orpheus Roye will be pressed into service weeks after moving back on the depth chart due to ineffectiveness. Simon Fraser will also likely see more time as Crennel rotates linemen against Baltimore.
Smith can also play some nose tackle and his absence will likely press Louis Leonard into service. Leonard was acquired earlier this year and has been inactive to date.
The loss of Smith will challenge the Browns further in stopping the Ravens running attack. Willis McGahee was very effective against the Browns earlier this year, averaging over seven yards per carry, but a quick start by the Browns put the Ravens in a situation where they had to go through the air most of the game.
WR Tim Carter (ill) has also been downgraded to questionable.