OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After John Harbaugh’s Monday press conference cast doubt on the status of the eight injured Ravens players entering the bye week, Wednesday afternoon’s practice might lift spirits as six of the wounded returned to the practice field.
The most notable returns were wide receiver Lee Evans (ankle) and left guard Ben Grubbs (toe), but the two offensive starters were joined by safeties Tom Zbikowski (concussion) and Haruki Nakamura (knee), return specialist David Reed (shoulder), and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) as participants during the portion of practice open to the media.
Cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (ankle) and Chris Carr (hamstring) were not practicing during the open portion. However, Smith was dressed in street clothes and only walking across the width of the side field. It wasn’t a level of activity indicative of a player close to returning to the field.
Carr was not present and indicated in the locker room that he would only return to the field at 100 percent after experiencing a setback on the Thursday leading up to the Jets game.
Evans and Grubbs had reportedly practiced on Monday — a workout closed to the media — and were dressed in full gear for Wednesday’s workout. Grubbs has not played in a game since the season-opening win over Pittsburgh while Evans hasn’t practice or played since the Week 2 loss in Tennessee.
Zbikowski has yet to be cleared for contact after sustaining a concussion in the Week 4 win over the Jets, but the safety was dressed to practice and working out individually on the sideline. Nakamura took part in kickoff and punt team drills during the special teams portion of practice, a strong indication that the Ravens hope he’s able to return to the field against the Houston Texans.
Ellerbe, a strong special teams player, was not participating in any special teams drills and was working on his own despite being dressed to practice.