Live from Owings Mills: Grubbs returns to practice for first time since Steelers game

September 29, 2011 | Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Despite revealing he’s only begun jogging over the last couple days, left guard Ben Grubbs returned to the practice field on Thursday for the first time since the Ravens’ 35-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the season opener on Sept. 11.

Grubbs missed the last two games with a right toe injury but was doing individual work and firing out of his three-point stance with the rest of the starting offensive line during the portion of practice open to the media. The fifth-year veteran said earlier in the day he would be a game-time decision and is still experiencing discomfort in the toe.

Center Matt Birk (knee) and defensive end Cory Redding also returned to practice after not participating on Wednesday. Both players were on the injury report last week before playing against the St. Louis Rams in Week 3.

Five players were not working for the second straight day during the open portion of practice on Thursday, including wide receiver Lee Evans (ankle), linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring), return specialist David Reed (shoulder), safety Haruki Nakamura (knee), and cornerback Jimmy Smith (ankle).

Smith’s left foot is finally out of the walking boot he’s worn since sustaining a high ankle sprain while covering a kickoff early in the first quarter against Pittsburgh on Sept. 11. The rookie says the ankle is “getting better” and is beginning to do some light jogging. Smith also revealed it’s the first real injury he’s suffered playing sports in his life. He hopes to return after the bye in the game against the Houston Texans on Oct. 16, but it’s unclear whether the first-round pick will be ready to play by then.

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