The Ravens haven’t necessarily had an easy go of it early in 2021. First, one of the NFL’s most run-heavy teams lost not one, not two, but three different running backs to season-ending injuries. Then Baltimore fell victim to a wild comeback effort from the Raiders in Week 1. And now, approaching what figures to be a tough Week 4 matchup with the undefeated Broncos, star quarterback Lamar Jackson is battling a back issue. But none of it is cause for internal concern, according to elder statesman Calais Campbell.

Campbell, the six-time Pro Bowl defensive end, is older and more experienced than everyone on the Ravens roster except longtime punter Sam Koch. He told CBS Sports on Thursday that confidence is high in John Harbaugh’s locker room, despite the early-season onslaught of injuries.

“The No. 1 thing is it’s a brotherhood,” the 35-year-old veteran said. “The camaraderie is unlike any other. I’ve been a part of some really special teams. I went to the Super Bowl with (the Cardinals) and then went to championships in 2015 and 2017 with the Cardinals and Jacksonville. You could tell those teams were special, the way we had a bond. I’ve been a part of bad teams, too, some 5-11, some 6-10, and practice is a grind. I just get the feel in the building, the fun we’re having, the way we’re approaching the day.”

There’s “good energy” among the Ravens, Campbell added, despite so many notable pieces, from J.K. Dobbins to Marcus Peters, going down, and despite Baltimore playing in three straight close games to open 2021.

“Talent plays a big role, and we did lose some guys, but our front office has done a good job adding players we can win with,” Campbell said. “We’ve had some really close ballgames that could’ve went the other way, but getting wins like that is always good early in the season, because it just builds confidence.”

Campbell, who leads the Ravens’ three-man front in tackles and tackles for loss thus far, has remained a steady presence for one of the game’s most respected defenses. While the “D” as a whole has given up a lot of yards through three games, the unit remains a top 10 run defense going into Week 4. He and the Ravens will look to improve to 3-1 against the Broncos — and keep pace with the Browns as division front-runners — this Sunday.


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