Harbaugh takes responsibility for abandonment of running game

September 30, 2013 | Luke Jones

Perhaps the best news to come from Monday’s press conference as it relates to health is the expected return of wide receiver Jacoby Jones to the practice field this week.

The speedy return specialist sprained his MCL in the season opener on Sept. 5 and hasn’t played since, leaving the Ravens without enough speed in the passing game as Torrey Smith has often seen bracketed coverage in games. Injuries to Deonte Thompson and Brandon Stokley have also complicated a position at which the Ravens already lack play-making ability.

“It’s hurt us, there’s no question,” Harbaugh said. “We’re down legs. We’re down legs on that side of the ball, and it’s hard to run the way you want and work on the things you want to work on, but you have to do it. Everybody faces that. It will be good to get those guys back.”

According to Harbaugh, cornerback Lardarius Webb and wide receiver Marlon Brown were both feeling better after suffering hamstring injuries on Sunday. Thompson was not experiencing any concussion-related symptoms on Monday after taking a blow to the head by Leonhard that was penalized in the fourth quarter.

The coach also said that linebacker Albert McClellan did not sustain any structural damage to his injured shoulder and that cornerback Jimmy Smith (glute bruise) and Pierce (calf strain) played through ailments on Sunday.

Rice (hip), defensive end Chris Canty (groin), and defensive tackle Brandon Williams (toe) all made it through the game without any setbacks on Sunday.

Stokley is day to day after sitting out Sunday’s game with a groin strain suffered in last Friday’s practice. The 37-year-old hoped to play in Week 4, but his groin tightened up during pre-game warmups, forcing the Ravens to list him as inactive.

Ravens still sitting pretty in AFC North

A day after their deflating loss to Buffalo, the Ravens still found themselves tied for first place in the division after Cleveland earned a convincing win over Cincinnati on Sunday. Those three teams all stand at 2-2 at the quarter pole of the season.

Pittsburgh lags behind with an 0-4 record after a defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings in London on Sunday.

“It’s week-to-week in the National Football League,” Harbaugh said. “Here we sit; we’re tied for the lead in our division, with a tiebreaker on Cleveland. And if I’m in Pittsburgh, I’m looking at it like, ‘We’re two games out of the lead in the division.’ They’re right there.”

4 Comments For This Post

  1. John in Westminster Says:

    It seemed fairly evident that Rice was very slow at hitting the holes on Sunday. And with Pierce seeing little snaps, it appears our running backs are more injured than the Ravens want to admit.

    (L.J. — I certainly think that was a variable, but only one of many.)

  2. James -Dundalk Says:

    The Ravens love Dicksons’ BLOCKING ability. So why do we still have Billy Bajema. I thought HE was the blocking tight end. I am all for giving Furstenberg a shot. Also Juscyk was hyped up to be a factor in our offense where has he been?

    (L.J. — He is a good blocker and you could see Furstenburg or Juszczyk get a shot at some point. I’m not sure where all this hype was about Juszczyk though. It was pretty evident early in camp that he wasn’t ready to be a major contributor this season, but I agree they should explore any avenue for improvement.)

  3. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Harbaugh is not going to throw Castillo under the bus yet because the run game is not working. No one is talking about Caldwells questionable play calling, if Cameron was still here we would be calling for him to be fired, right?

    (L.J. — There would certainly be more scrutiny, yes.)

  4. joe of bel air Says:

    I think that was one of Coach Harbaugh’s worse coached games. I think they looked at Buffalo’s 2nd and 3rd string secondary and thought Joe could light them up, which obviously was a mistake. Watching the New Orleans game yesterday made me think why can’t the Ravens use Rice out of the backfield to catch passes the way Breese used Daren Sproul to light up Miami. If the running game truly wasn’t working there are other ways to get Rice the ball. Makes me wonder whether RR was really healthy enough to play or whether we are seeing the start of a major decline in his productivity, as we usually see with most backs who have been in the league for 5 years.

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