Ozzie Newsome has been through this before.
The Baltimore Ravens were basking in the afterglow of a Super Bowl win in the summer of 2001 when a knee injury robbed the team of leading rusher Jamal Lewis. Fast forward 12 years, and Newsome faces the challenge of replacing Dennis Pitta, the rising tight end who was lost for the season after seriously injuring his hip in practice Saturday.
As you might expect from a general manager of his ilk, Newsome has remained calm.
"We have a history of making moves just a week or two before the season starts, to be able to put the final pieces together," he said. "We did that with Bryant McKinnie (in 2011). He came in just before the last preseason game. We did that with Willie Anderson, I think in (head coach) John Harbaugh's first year, and with Josh Wilson on defense (in 2010).
"It's awfully early. We don't play (season-opening opponent) Denver tomorrow, and the season is 16 games long. What you worry about is needing to play real good football going into November and December."
Newsome did his best to put a positive spin on the situation. He explained that the 2013 Ravens have yet to formulate an identity on offense, meaning the loss of Pitta isn't cause for heavy recalibrations. Maybe so, but Newsome can't deny it will be difficult to replace a playmaker who seemed on the verge of a breakout campaign.
It would be a tough situation for any GM. Luckily for the Ravens, they might have the best one in the business.