The Baltimore Ravens' secondary might have hit the tipping point with all of its injuries.
Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith underwent surgery for a sports hernia Thursday, two sources briefed on his condition told NFL.com and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The team had announced it was a groin surgery, hoping Smith will be back before season's end.
The fact that it was a sports hernia -- essentially a tear in the abdominal six-pack -- complicates matters more than groin surgery (though sports hernias often originally are considered groin injuries).
The general timetable can be anywhere from three to six weeks, making it questionable if Smith can return before the end of the season.
Smith had surgery early Thursday in Philadelphia, and sources say it was performed by Dr. William Meyers, who is renowned for such procedures. Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings and New Orleans Saints cornerback Jabari Greer also have seen Dr. Meyers.
This is a Ravens secondary that already had big questions. Their best cornerback, Lardarius Webb, is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Ed Reed has been battling a shoulder injury all season. We watched him on Game Rewind the past two weeks, and he doesn't look close to healthy. He's very hesitant to make tackles.
Safety Bernard Pollard struggles in pass coverage. The Ravens will have to rely on untested players like Corey Graham and Chykie Brown to essentially play starter snaps. The Ravens are not generating a great pass rush, either.
The good news here for the Ravens is that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is out this week with rib and shoulder injuries and could miss the AFC North rivals' rematch in a few weeks. Byron Leftwich might not have the ability to take advantage of the Ravens' shortcomings.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.