OWINGS MILLS, Md. — As the Ravens make final preparations for their trip to St. Louis to face the 0-2 Rams on Sunday, it’s becoming increasingly likely they will be without a critical part of their passing game and an anchor along the offensive line.
Wide receiver Lee Evans (ankle) and left guard Ben Grubbs (toe) were not working for the third straight day in the portion of practice open to the media on Friday. Grubbs was present on the field, but the fifth-year lineman did not have a helmet as he watched from the sideline. Evans was nowhere to be found as he continues to deal with an ankle injury that’s plagued him since the third preseason game.
With Evans’ availability for Sunday in doubt, the Ravens will turn to their rookie wideouts to make contributions in the passing game. Torrey Smith is expected to start, but is looking for his first catch as a professional as he fights confidence issues in finding his place in Cam Cameron’s system. Fellow rookies LaQuan Williams and Tandon Doss also figure to receive some opportunities in certain formations. Doss has been inactive in each of the team’s first two games while Williams has mostly been used in special teams.
Cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring) was practicing again after working on a limited basis on Wednesday and Thursday. Assuming he has no setbacks, Carr is expected to play in the team’s nickel package after coach John Harbaugh expressed concern with Domonique Foxworth’s health and ability to contribute. On Thursday, Foxworth echoed those frustrations, indicating he is still experience significant discomfort with his surgically-repaired knee that forced him to miss the entire 2010 season.
With kick returner David Reed sidelined until after the bye week, the Ravens will turn to some combination of Lardarius Webb and Torrey Smith in the kickoff return package. Both have received reps in the portions of practice viewed by the media.
Unsurprisingly, cornerback Jimmy Smith was absent from practice as his ankle is still in a walking boot. The 2011 first-round pick is not expected back until after the bye week, and his return could still be a period of time after that.