With a sack from Matt Judon taking out Geno Smith in the Baltimore Ravens’ 24-16 loss to the New York Jets, Za’Darius Smith tried to pull the same clean stunt on Ryan Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter. Instead of sacking Fitzpatrick, Smith was penalized for roughing the passer and helped Jets prolong the late drive, keeping the ball away from the Ravens’ offense for a comeback.
Smith was fined $18,231 Friday for the penalty. It is his first career fine
It’s the biggest headline Smith has made this season after starting in place of Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil who were out with injuries against the Jets. After impressing as a rookie last season with 5.5 sacks in a limited role, Smith has yet to log a sack in seven games including two starts for 251 defensive snaps. But he’s confident it will all come in due time.
“My time is going to come, and my sacks are going to come,” Smith said after Wednesday’s practice. “I’m going to just take it one day at a time and keep improving as a pass rusher.”
Along without having a sack this season, Smith has just 11 tackles with one batted pass this season. He has been bothered by an ankle injury but hasn’t made than an excuse for his underwhelming production.
“I won’t blame it on my ankle,” he said. “I’m a tough guy. At the same time, I just have to get better as a pass rusher.”
With two comments made about becoming a better pass rusher, that says a lot about not only the NFL’s landscape but the Ravens as well, as they’re used to a player like Suggs reaching at least double-digits.