Live from Westminster: Gaither returns to practice, Divens placed on IR

August 15, 2009 | Luke Jones

3:45 p.m. — The afternoon special teams practice lasted about an hour with the only news being the absence of returner Chris Carr.  He did not practice this afternoon and was walking very gingerly, suggesting he’s dealing with some type of leg issue.

Carr walked off the field with trainer Bill Tessendorf in the closing minutes of the morning session.

1:27 p.m. — The Ravens will hold a special teams practice at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon.  Tomorrow morning’s practice has been CANCELLED.  The team will have a full-squad practice on Sunday afternoon at 2:45 p.m.

1:23 p.m. — Unofficially, Steve Hauschka was two of four in field goal attempts.  Hauschka made attempts from 20 and 41 yards but appeared to miss from 47 and 51 yards.  Both of these attempts were very close, and it was difficult to tell.  There were no officials standing underneath the goal posts, so I was just judging from my spot on the sideline.  I guess I need to hire my own personal referee to help me with this part of the blog!

Hauschka appears to have a slight edge over Graham Gano at this point, but there are three preseason games remaining before any decision needs to be made.

12:48 p.m. — Harbaugh had a blue work shirt with the name “John” on it this morning, symbolizing how he wants his team to work hard just like an average person works hard at a regular job for a living.  It was amusing seeing the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens wearing a shirt you’d typically see worn by a plumber or electrician.

Harbaugh is really big on slogans and symbolism for his football team.

12:44 p.m. — A couple other health-related notes to pass on about the morning practice.  Demetrius Williams did practice but had an ice pack on the right hamstring during the final moments of practice.  He’s battled the nagging injury for most of camp.

Chris Carr left the field with trainer Bill Tessendorf shortly before practice concluded.  There are no specifics on any potential injury at this time.

12:32 p.m. — Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe did not practice this morning.  There is no word on any injury.

Ellerbe has been one of the surprises of camp, taking reps with the first-team defense at times and gaining serious consder

12:29 p.m. — At the very end of practice, Joe Flacco brought the fans to their feet when he scrambled around while trying to find a receiver but finally found his way to the end zone on his feet.  He spiked the football after scoring, gaining a loud cheer in the process.

Not to be outdone, Troy Smith connected with Matt Lawrence for a touchdown, scoring for the second-team offense.

12:27 p.m. — Receiver Kelley Washington had one of the highlights of the morning, making a long, one-handed touchdown reception, beating Fabian Washington on the play.

12:24 p.m. — Ray Rice continues to impress with his ability to catch the ball coming out of the backfield.  During 7-on-7 drills, he made a nifty one-handed grab.

Another lesser-known running back, Matt Lawrence, continues to make a name for himself after an impressive performance against the Redskins.  Lawrence beat Oglesby on a long pass reception.

Both Lawrence and Jalen Parmele—a player liked by offensive coordinator Cam Cameron—clearly appear to be ahead of sixth-round pick Cedric Peerman on the depth chart.  Peerman hasn’t had a bad camp, but he’s done little to really stand out among his peers at the running back position.

12:09 p.m. — Cornerback Evan Oglesby dropped a sure interception thrown by Troy Smith this morning.  For a player like Oglesby trying to make the 53-man roster, you want to make every possible play you can to impress the coaching staff.

12:06 p.m. — Terrell Suggs and Mark Clayton were both absent from practice, though I saw both players out on the field working on some light conditioning.  Despite Suggs not practicing in two weeks, no one really seems too concerned about his status for the regular season.  He is not wearing any boot or apparent brace for the injured heel.

Clayton is expected to miss at least one or two more preseason games as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

Marcus Smith made an appearance during practice on crutches.  He is out for the year with a torn ACL and will undergo surgery next week.  Doctors must wait for the swelling to subside before repairing the knee.

You have to feel badly for Smith.  While fans tend to view professional athletes as little more than millionaires, these guys are human beings, and it has to be incredibly frustrating to put in so much work throughout the offseason, only to tear up your knee in the preseason opener.  Smith will not only be a loss at the receiver position, but he is one of the best special teams players on the team.  He was a great gunner on the punt team, so the Ravens will need someone else to step up in his absence.

12:04 p.m. — The offensive line had some struggles with the snap count when they worked from their own 1-yard line this morning.  L.J. Smith jumped once and then several members of the offensive line committed a false start on the following play.  This could not have made Harbaugh happy after seeing his team commit nine penalties on Thursday night—one of the few negatives you can take from the game.

Yamon Figurs had a great morning, catching two long passes from Troy Smith, beating Frank Walker for a touchdown and grabbing a 33-yard pass against Evan Oglesby.  These are the types of practices Figurs needs to have to improve his standing with the organization.  He is one of those veterans who suddenly finds himself squarely on the bubble.

12:00 p.m. — Ed Reed did not wear the red jersey during the full-squad workout this morning, no surprise considering he played against the Redskins.

11:58 a.m. — Jared Gaither returned to the practice field this morning after sitting out Thursday night’s preseason opener.  It was more of a precautionary move to keep the big left tackle out, as he continues to battle soreness with the strained trapezius muscle.

Marshal Yanda also practiced this morning after sitting out Thursday’s game.

11:55 a.m. — John Harbaugh wanted his players to quickly forget the impressive 23-0 victory over the Washington Redskins on Thursday night, and he proved it by holding one of the longest practices of the summer this morning.  Practice lasted two hours and 20 minutes.

I have a few roster notes to pass along.  Quarterback Drew Willy has been re-signed to the 80-man training camp roster.  You may remember Willy was on the roster during OTAs and was signed after the draft.  He played his college ball at the University of Buffalo and knows the offensive system better than any other quarterback the team could sign at this point.

John Beck’s injured throwing shoulder does not have a tear, but there is still no set timetable on his return.  He obviously did not practice this morning.

If Beck must miss an extended period of time, the Ravens could be interested in quarterback Cleo Lemon.  The veteran quarterback tried out for the team after the morning practice.

The team also signed receiver Bradon Godfrey, a rookie out of Utah and Paul Kruger’s former teammate.  Godfrey is 6-3 and 197 pounds—very skinny legs.  He had been signed by the Atlanta Falcons earlier in the offseason.

The Ravens also placed defensive tackle Lamar Divens on injured reserve with a hip injury.  Divens was competing for a roster spot on a very deep defensive line and could not get healthy during training camp.

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