WR Steve Smith 39 re­cep­tions shy of 1,000

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GROGAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

— It wasn’t a shock that Steve Smith Sr. chose to de­lay his pre­vi­ously sched­uled re­tire­ment to play one more sea­son.

The vet­eran wide re­ceiver for the Baltimore Ravens had what he said would be his fi­nal sea­son cut short by a torn Achilles on Nov. 1. Those were not the terms he hoped to go out on.

But on Wed­nes­day, Smith ad­mit­ted that there is an­other mile­stone fu­el­ing his re­turn.

“One thou­sand re­cep­tions. That’s why, to be hon­est,” he said. “Why not? You have to have some­thing to strive for.”

Smith sits at 961 ca­reer re­cep­tions. Reach­ing his goal will move him ahead of Randy Moss on the all-time list and tie him with Hines

OWINGS MILLS

Ward for 13th most in NFL his­tory.

What will he do when he hits the mil­len­nium mark?

“I may catch that in my uni­form, get in my car and go home,” Smith joked. “Straight from there, drive all the way from M&T Bank [Sta­dium] straight to Char­lotte, one shot.”

Smith moved into 10th place for re­ceiv­ing yards in the Ravens win over the San Diego Chargers, the game he was injured. He was since bumped by An­dre John­son, but needs less than 100 yards to pass Hall of Famer James Lofton to move back into 10th place.

The num­bers sug­gest Smith is headed to Can­ton him­self once he hangs it up.

“You think about the Hall of Fame. You think about the Su­per Bowl. Now with the way news is go­ing, you think about the Pro Bowl in Or­lando,” the 37-year-old said. “You think about a lot of things.”

Smith ad­dressed the me­dia Wed­nes­day af­ter the sec­ond day of mini­camp. He called him­self “day-to-day” in terms of his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, but said he had just put cleats on for the first time since the in­jury.

The Ravens plan to hold Smith out of their four pre­sea­son games. That’s fine with him.

“I’ve been very com­fort­able through­out my ca­reer not play­ing in the pre­sea­son, so I don’t have a prob­lem with that,” he said. “Just four games that don’t count and [with] the li­a­bil­ity of in­jury at the se­nior cit­i­zen age that I am, I think prob­a­bly stay­ing out would be good.”

Fol­low Sean Grogan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JOR­DAN SCHATZ

Baltimore Ravens wide re­ceiver Steve Smith Sr. needs 39 re­cep­tions to reach 1,000 for his ca­reer.

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