Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Jimmy Smith Suspended First Four Games of 2018 NFL Season

August 21, 2018 - 8:44 pm

By Joe Schiller

After reports surfaced last night that Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith was facing a multi-week suspension, the news has become official.

Today the NFL suspended Smith for the first four games of the 2018 regular season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, relating to a child custody case with the mother of his son.

“The NFL found evidence of threatening and emotionally abusive behaviors by Jimmy toward his former girlfriend that showed a pattern of improper conduct,” said the Ravens in an official statement. “Our player’s behavior was inappropriate and wrong.”

Smith also released a statement saying, “I would like to sincerely apologize to my former girlfriend, the NFL, the Ravens organization, my coaches, my teammates, my fiancée and all our fans. I'm very disappointed that my past actions have led to this suspension … I take full responsibility for my past conduct.”

According to The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec, who broke the news of the potential suspension yesterday, it was originally six games but was reduced to four after Smith appealed.

When on the field Smith has been a top corner but he’s played a full 16-game season just twice in seven seasons. He was suspended for four games during the 2017 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy but was already out after suffering a torn Achilles.

Second-year cornerback Marlon Humphrey is expected to take on the starting role and will likely be paired with veteran Brandon Carr on the outside. The duo played together during the final stretch of last season in Smith’s absence.

Luckily, the Ravens are deep at the cornerback position. Along with Humphrey and Carr, a young trio of Maurice Canady, Tavon Young, and Anthony Averett will have increased roles.

But Smith’s absence is a huge blow. He allowed one of lowest passer ratings among cornerbacks last season (49.2) before getting hurt, according to Pro Football Focus.

Smith will miss games against the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers. That’s a tough slate of games, including two early AFC North divisional matchups. He’ll be eligible to return Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns.