OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (1-1) returned to work at 1 Winning Drive Wednesday, looking forward to an AFC North showdown with the Cleveland Browns (0-2) Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
CB Cary Williams was on the practice field after being activated this week from a NFL suspension (personal conduct policy). To make room for Williams on the 53 man roster, General Manager Ozzie Newsome announced the team released veteran safety Ken Hamlin-who they had signed late in the offseason. By cutting Hamlin, the Ravens were able to keep younger “bubble” players like DT Lamar Divens, LB Jason Phillips, DE Paul Kruger and WR Marcus Smith. Hamlin was expendable given the team’s depth in the secondary and given the fact that Williams and recent CB signing Prince Miller both play Special Teams.
Phillips’ roster spot became safer when Head Coach John Harbaugh confirmed Wednesday LB Tavares Gooden would be “out for a few weeks” with a dislocated shoulder. Gooden suffered the injury in Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. National Football Post reported Tuesday the injury was expected to keep Gooden out for 4-6 weeks. Phillips was not active for either of the Ravens’ first two games of the season, but could now see playing time with Gooden hurt.
The Ravens added rookie OT Brady Bond (Oklahoma State) to their practice squad Wednesday, a day after releasing OT Devin Tyler and CB David Pender. The team now has seven spots filled on the practice squad, meaning one spot remains open. That spot could be filled by whoever is cut Wednesday afternoon, or it could be filled by a more mobile quarterback-as the team looks to prepare for mobile QB Seneca Wallace and wildcat threat WR Joshua Cribbs Sunday.
BROWNS QB QUESTIONS: The Browns’ QB situation is a bit up in the air. Starter Jake Delhomme missed last Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs with an ankle injury. The team started backup Wallace instead. When asked about Delhomme’s status for Sunday, Browns coach Eric Mangini told Charm City media he was “optimistic” about the chances the former Carolina Panthers QB could play. Mangini added that Delhomme has “gotten better”, but that’s he’s “comfortable” either QB can run all of Cleveland’s offense.
When asked if he expected Delhomme to be available, Harbaugh responded simply, “I don’t know.” However, he was quick to point out that the Ravens will prepare for not only Delhomme and Wallace; but also for Cribbs, who the Browns often use in “wildcat” offense schemes. Knowing that his team will be playing in front of the friendly M&T Bank Stadium crowd for the first time this season, Harbaugh pleaded of Ravens fans “we need it to be especially loud when (you) see #16 at quarterback.”
PRACTICE UPDATE: WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot), OT Jared Gaither (back) and Gooden (shoulder) did not participate in practice Wednesday. Stallworth and Gooden have been ruled OUT for Sunday’s game; Gaither is not expected to play but has not been ruled out. Also amongst those not participating were WR Derrick Mason (knee) and FB Le’Ron McClain (shoulder). LB Dannell Ellerbe (knee) was listed as a limited participant in practice, he is not believed to be in jeopardy of missing Sunday’s game. TE Todd Heap (shoulder), LB Jarret Johnson (back), LB Jameel McClain (knee), DT Haloti Ngata (back), RB Ray Rice (ankle), LB Terrell Suggs (ankle) were all full participants. DT Terrence Cody (knee) was not listed on the injury report after missing the Ravens’ Week 2 loss.
S Tom Zbikowski did not field any punts during the Punt Return portion of Special Teams practice, which was open to the media. Instead, S Haruki Nakamura, CB Lardarius Webb and Miller fielded all punts. Zbikowski, CB Josh Wilson and RB Jalen Parmele (the team’s regular KR) fielded all kickoffs. Zbikowski has struggled in the PR role thus far this season, but the staff has not said publicly that the team will go in another direction.
For the Browns, Delhomme was amongst eight players who did not participate in practice Wednesday. The others were RB Jerome Harrison (thigh), G Shaun Lauvao (ankle), TE Evan Moore (head), CB Derrick Roberson (hip), WR Brian Robiskie (hamstring), DT Shaun Rogers (ankle, hip) and DE Robaire Smith (ankle). LB D’Qwell Jackson (chest), LB Matt Roth (foot) and G Floyd Womack (knee) were all limited participants in practice. G Eric Steinbach (thigh) and OT Joe Thomas (elbow) participated fully.
NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, QB Joe Flacco, Rice, Ngata, C Matt Birk, WR TJ Houshmandzadeh and Johnson NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Flacco was dismissive of questions regarding fans’ negativity towards his performance in Sunday’s loss. “We all have bad games” said Flacco. “Nobody likes it. I don’t like it, the team doesn’t like it. You gotta get over it.”……WR Derrick Mason declined interview requests from reporters when approached in the locker room……The team announced rock band Buckcherry will perform at halftime of Sunday’s game……OL Chris Chester is scheduled to join Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” Thusrday morning at 7:15am on AM1570 WNST……The Ravens will practice again Thursday; LB Ray Lewis, OC Cam Cameron, DC Greg Mattison and Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg are scheduled for formal sessions with the media Thursday.