Maybe in some other NFL training camp, it wouldn't have been particularly newsworthy if one of the rookie linebackers failed his conditioning test and spent part of the first workout on the non-football injury list.
It probably shouldn't have been here, since top Ravens draft choice Courtney Upshaw passed the test on his second try and practiced later in the day.
That kind of stuff happens all the time all around the league, but it drew special notice at the Under Armour Performance Center on Monday because of the added responsibility that Upshaw will have to assume in the extended absence of NFL Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs.
There's a chance Suggs won't be back at all this season, which has left the Ravens without the luxury of bringing Upshaw along slowly and allowing him to grow into a place in the starting lineup. The injury forced the team to move Paul Kruger into the rush linebacker spot and Upshaw to the top of the depth chart on the strong side.
It also left the Ravens without a lot of wiggle room if they suffer another significant injury, which is why the coaches and front office types spent part of Tuesday working out some free agent outside linebackers.
John Harbaugh usually handles questions about the impact of injuries with the perfunctory "next man up" platitudes so popular among NFL head coaches, but during his first podium session of training camp on Tuesday, he would not discount the importance of Upshaw and Kruger seizing this opportunity and refusing to let go.
"There is a lot to it, because it's an opportunity to start for the Ravens,'' Harbaugh said. "It's an opportunity to start in the National Football League. Our goal is to be the best defense in football. That's not going to change, and those guys have an opportunity to be a huge part of that, so, yeah, it's a huge responsibility. But I don't think it would be any different at any other positions. Any one of those 11 spots is a pretty big deal."
Indeed, there are other areas that call into question the overall depth of the defense. The Ravens also need second-year defensive end Pernell McPhee to take another big developmental step after ranking second on the team in sacks last year. No one expects the Ravens to replace everything that Suggs brought to the table after his AFC-leading 14-sack performance during the 2011 season, but they'll need to get pressure on the quarterback from a lot of different angles to make up some of that production.
McPhee has been placed on the physically unable to perform list while he recovers from an offseason knee procedure, but Harbaugh said that he should be ready to practice soon.
Though the Ravens are outwardly confident that they have enough depth on both sides of the ball to embark on another playoff run, they also are vulnerable in the defensive backfield, where future Hall of Famer Ed Reed has kept them guessing throughout the offseason about his desire to play this year.
Reed is expected to report to camp, but the preoccupation with his uncertain status is just more evidence that the Ravens cannot afford any more big setbacks before they open the regular season on Sept. 10. If this is like any other NFL preseason, some high-profile players will go down with injuries over the next few weeks, but the Ravens have already lost one of the best players in the league. They do not need their defensive depth tested any further.
There also are some health issues on offense, where second-year tackle Jah Reid and rookie guard Kelechi Osemele both have opened training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list, but Osemele should be practicing in the next few days and Reid's calf strain is not believed to be serious.
Nevertheless, the Ravens also worked out veteran guard Eric Steinbach on Tuesday in their continuing attempt to shore up an offensive line that lost Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs to free agency and is waiting to see what Bryant McKinnie looks like when he gets here.
There's no reason to be alarmed. The Ravens are still one of the best teams in the AFC, but they've got some issues.
Read more from columnist Peter Schmuck in his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here" on baltimoresun.com and listen when he co-hosts "The Week in Review" Fridays at noon on WBAL (1090AM) and wbal.com.
Orioles Insider | Live scores | Photos | Baseball app