OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (5-2) returned to practice Wednesday at 1 Winning Drive, shifting their focus entirely to their matchup Sunday with the Miami Dolphins (4-3) at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Ravens had been rumored to be a potential destination for former San Diego Chargers LB Shawne Merriman. The Bolts waived Merriman Tuesday after he passed a physical. However, the Ravens will not get the opportunity to consider Merriman, as multiple sources have reported that Merriman was claimed by the Buffalo Bills.
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh had confirmed on his weekly radio show Tuesday night that the team would have been interested in the 3 time Pro Bowler had he clear waivers. Harbaugh also mentioned that he and GM Ozzie Newsome had spoken at length about the possibility of acquiring the former Maryland Terrapins standout.
While Harbaugh said Wednesday that he could not comment further on Merriman due to the NFL’s “waiver process”, two current Ravens LB’s shared their thoughts before the waiver claim went through.
Future Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis said he had spoken to the player nicknamed “Lights Out” Tuesday night. He made it clear that he would have welcomed Merriman in Charm City. “Of course I would want Shawne Merriman here. Why wouldn’t I want him here?”
LB Terrell Suggs did not show quite the same interest level in adding Merriman to the defense. “I don’t know what type of locker room guy he is” said Suggs, “I’ve never been on his team.” Suggs did point out that the players had spent time together in Hawaii at the Pro Bowl, noting “he seems like a pretty good guy. I guess if he did come here, we’d just have to see how it worked.”
The Baltimore Ravens have tallied just 12 sacks this season, which ranks 24th in the NFL. Since entering the league in 2005, Merriman has recorded 43.5 sacks. However, Merriman has recorded just 4 sacks over the last three seasons.
The man known as “T-Sizzle” did not appear to be particularly concerned about the team’s lack of sacks. “It’s not like we haven’t gotten any pressure on the quarterback, we just (haven’t) got it when he’s had the ball in his hand” said Suggs. “I don’t think anybody around here (believes) every quarterback we play is lighting us up because we don’t have a pass rush. Trust me, all of them-they feel us, they just know they have to get that ball out.
INJURY REPORT: S Tom Zbikowski (foot) did not participate in Ravens practice Wednesday. Zbikowski suffered a bruised hell in the team’s Week 6 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium, it forced him to miss the team’s Week 7 win over the Buffalo Bills. Zbikowski was seen Monday still with a walking boot on his right foot.TE Dennis Pitta (unknown) did not participate during the portion of practice open to the media.
WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot) practiced fully Wednesday, offering further reason to believe he will be available Sunday against the Fins. It has been speculated that Stallworth could return punts Sunday, but he was not involved during the Special Teams portion of practice Wednesday. CB Lardarius Webb remains an option to return punts with Zbikowski not expected to play.
TE Todd Heap (back), WR Derrick Mason (ankle) and S Ed Reed (ankle) were all listed as full participants in practice. LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder) was not listed on the injury report, he is expected to be available Sunday.
Dolphins S Yeremiah Bell was a limited participant in practice Wednesday. Bell has been Miami’s leading tackler through seven games with 55 (42 solo, .5 sacks, 1 forced fumble). The Ravens initially listed Bell as being OUT for Sunday’s game, but later rescinded that report stating he was a limited participant.
LB Channing Crowder (thumb) was a full participant in Dolphins practice Wednesday.
NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Lewis, Suggs, QB Joe Flacco and RB Ray Rice now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……FB Le’Ron McClain is scheduled to join Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST Tuesday at 7:15am……C Matt Birk responded to the report that former Minnesota Vikings WR Randy Moss had trashed a food establishment in St. Paul that the former Vikes lineman frequented. Birk told WNST.net about Tinucci’s “the food’s good, there’s a million people that will tell you that”……The Ravens return to practice Thursday at 1 Winning Drive, Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron, Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison and Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg are scheduled to meet with reporters following practice……