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Veteran cornerback Ross tears Achilles tendon prior to first day of camp

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Veteran cornerback Ross tears Achilles tendon prior to first day of camp

Posted on 24 July 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens began their first full-squad workout of the summer having already lost a player for the 2014 season with the news of veteran cornerback Aaron Ross tearing his Achilles tendon.

Ross suffered the injury while taking his conditioning test while veteran cornerback Dominique Franks did not pass his, explaining his absence from the field during Thursday’s practice. The former was officially placed on injured reserve while Franks starts training camp on the non-football injury list until he passes his conditioning test.

Signed along with Ross following last month’s mandatory minicamp to boost depth at the cornerback position, Franks is expected to compete for the No. 3 cornerback spot behind starters Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith. Though not a good impression to make, Franks failing the test isn’t an uncommon occurrence as a number of veterans have failed the Ravens’ challenging conditioning test at the start of training camp over the years.

Head coach John Harbaugh announced the injury to Ross after Thursday’s practice and left open the possibility of the Ravens adding another veteran cornerback.

“We have pretty good depth, [but] we’ll always be looking for better players,” Harbaugh said. “Whenever I get asked that question, I give the same answer. I don’t think we have an particular urgency. We have good players at corner. The guys are competing, [and] we like our guys. I expect the third corner to be one of the guys already here.”

Defensive tackle Terrence Cody was also absent after being placed on the active physically unable to perform list while recovering from offseason hip surgery. Coach John Harbaugh said earlier in the week there is no clear timetable for his return to the practice field, but he continues to make good progress in his recovery.

Running back Bernard Pierce (shoulder surgery) and offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf) were both present and working after Harbaugh declared both to be at full speed earlier this week. With Thursday’s news of starting running back Ray Rice receiving a two-game suspension to begin the season, Pierce figures to have the inside track to begin the year as the starting back in Gary Kubiak’s offense.

“I’m very confident in Bernard. I’ve always liked Bernard,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a heck of a player. He’s worked very hard. He’s 217 pounds, [and] he’s in the best shape of his life. He looked good out here the last couple of days; he looked really good today.”

The Ravens were practicing in helmets, shells, and shorts on Thursday morning and will conduct their first full-contact workout on Saturday.

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Ravens officially sign cornerbacks Ross, Franks, three others

Posted on 20 June 2014 by Luke Jones

A day after head coach John Harbaugh suggested additions would be made to the offseason roster, the Ravens officially signed cornerbacks Aaron Ross and Dominique Franks along with three others on Friday.

Baltimore also signed linebackers Austin Spitler and Nick DiMarco and wide receiver Mike Willie. Three rookie free agents were waived to make room on the 90-man roster as linebacker Xavius Boyd and defensive backs Dexter Moody and Avery Patterson will not be going to training camp as of now.

Ross and Franks made a favorable impression with Harbaugh while trying out during the Ravens’ mandatory minicamp over the last three days and will compete with Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson for the third and fourth cornerback jobs behind starters Jimmy Smith and Asa Jackson.

Spitler is entering his fifth NFL season after spending his first four years with the Miami Dolphins. Primarily a special-teams contributor, the Ohio State product has appeared in 55 career games and recorded 28 special-teams tackles.

Also participating on a tryout basis this week, Willie spent most of the 2012 season on the practice squad of the San Diego Chargers. The Arizona State product did not play in the NFL last season and recorded 72 receptions for 897 yards and nine touchdowns in two seasons with the Sun Devils.

DiMarco originally signed with the New York Jets as a rookie free agent following the draft and played his collegiate football at William Penn and earned first-team Midwest Collegiate Conference honors as a defensive end.

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Ravens showing interest in veteran cornerback options

Posted on 16 June 2014 by Luke Jones

Hoping to boost their cornerback depth before the start of the 2014 season, the Ravens are reportedly taking a looking at a couple veteran options this week.

Former New York Giants cornerback Aaron Ross posted on his official Twitter account that he would be coming to Baltimore where he will receive a tryout. The 31-year-old played in just four games due to a back injury last year and has 11 interceptions in his seven-year career, which includes 52 starts.

Ravens secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo coached Ross in his first two NFL seasons in New York and is obviously familiar with his skills despite his increasing age.

According to The Sun, the Ravens will also try out former Carolina Panthers cornerback Drayton Florence, who is entering his 12th NFL season and has spent time with five teams in his career. The 33-year-old played in 14 games for Carolina’s sixth-ranked pass defense last year.

Veteran cornerbacks Marquice Cole and Dominique Franks will also reportedly try out at this week’s minicamp.

Following the free-agent departure of Corey Graham, the Ravens have expressed confidence in Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson, but the addition of a veteran would figure to benefit the battle for the No. 3 corner spot behind starters Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb.

The Ravens are also reportedly interested in former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers, but a number of teams have shown interest, according to The Sun.

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