Practicing for the first time in four weeks, Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans appears closer to returning to action after working on a limited basis Wednesday.
The former Buffalo Bills wideout, acquired for a fourth-round pick during the preseason, has not played since Week 2 while dealing with a left ankle injury. In Evans’ absence, rookie Torrey Smith has emerged as the No. 2 receiver behind Anquan Boldin and caught the game-winning touchdown in Pittsburgh last Sunday night.
Evans expressed optimism on Wednesday that he could make his return to action against the Seahawks on Sunday after missing the Ravens’ last six games.
Left guard Ben Grubbs did not appear on Wednesday’s injury report after practicing all last week on a limited basis before playing against the Steelers. The fifth-year offensive lineman is still experiencing pain in the injured right toe that sidelined him for six games, but expressed confidence that he will be able to continue playing through the discomfort.
The Baltimore offensive line has missed Grubbs leadership and stellar play at guard. Despite the Ravens struggling to gain yardage on the ground, the offensive line appeared to gain a boost with the 2007 first-round pick’s return against the Steelers.
“Ben’s played guard all those years and is very familiar with our system, so things were a little smoother in there,” coach John Harbaugh said. “Andre [Gurode] did a great job while he was in there, for what he had to overcome especially, to learn the position. Ben’s the left guard, he’s the starter, so it smoothed things out a little bit for us.”
Veteran center Matt Birk was the only Ravens player not to participate during Wednesday’s practice. It’s expected that Birk was receiving a periodic day off as he deals with a nagging neck issue and rests his surgically-repaired knee.
Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe also returned to the practice field after being sidelined for the last three games with a hamstring injury.
The Seahawks were without starting wide receiver Sidney Rice, who has been dealing with a lingering foot injury. Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson practiced on a limited basis Wednesday.
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: C Matt Birk (neck)
LIMITED: RB Anthony Allen (thigh), LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (head), LB Dannell Ellerbe (thigh), WR Lee Evans (ankle), TE Kris Wilson (calf)
FULL: CB Chykie Brown (knee)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: TE Cameron Morrah (toe, knee), WR Sidney Rice (foot), LB David Vobora (concussion)
LIMITED: QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)