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Monday, June 4, 2012
Ravens' Paul Kruger needs to stay healthy

By Jamison Hensley

The Cleveland Browns have a strange history with pectoral muscle injuries (D'Qwell Jackson and Phil Taylor), and the Baltimore Ravens' pass-rushers now have one of their own.

It was reported over the weekend that Michael McAdoo is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, the same injury that has sidelined Terrell Suggs. I considered McAdoo a dark-horse candidate to replace Suggs, but he was either going to be a backup or find his way to injured reserve this year.

This injury has the Ravens crossing their fingers that Paul Kruger can stay healthy (and keep his Achilles intact). Kruger is the one who has been running at Suggs' rush linebacker spot at offseason workouts. (Second-round draft pick Courtney Upshaw has taken Jarret Johnson's outside linebacker job.)

There's going to be a drop-off from Suggs to Kruger. Suggs had a career-high 14 sacks last season, which is 7.5 less than Kruger's career total. But Kruger is clearly the best option. Honestly, he's their only option.

If something were to happen to Kruger, the Ravens would really be hurting now that they're without Suggs and McAdoo. It's difficult to count on anything from Sergio Kindle, the team's top draft pick in 2010 who has played two games since fracturing his skull in an offseason accident. Kindle is still trying to overcome hearing loss in his left ear.

There's really no other outside linebackers on the Ravens' roster with any NFL experience, although Jameel McClain or Albert McClellan could shift out there in a pinch.

As far as McAdoo, he still can have a place on this team in the future. Despite missing his second season with an injury, he is the youngest player on the Ravens' roster at age 21 (he was born in July 1990).