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2015 Ravens training camp preview: Linebackers

Posted on 23 July 2015 by Luke Jones

With the Ravens beginning their 20th training camp in franchise history this month, expectations are high for John Harbaugh’s team as they eye their seventh trip to the postseason in eight years.

As veterans report to Owings Mills on July 29th and the first full-squad workout takes place the following day, we’ll examine each position group entering the summer.

July 20: Quarterbacks
July 21: Defensive line
July 22: Running backs
July 23: Linebackers
July 24: Wide receivers
July 25: Tight ends
July 26: Cornerbacks
July 27: Offensive line
July 28: Safeties
July 29: Specialists

Below is a look at the Baltimore linebackers:

LINEBACKERS 
LOCK: Daryl Smith, C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Courtney Upshaw, Za’Darius Smith
BUBBLE: Arthur Brown, Albert McClellan, Zachary Orr, Steven Means, Brennen Beyer, Zach Thompson
LONG SHOT: Andrew Bose

Synopsis: The Ravens’ top four of Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, C.J. Mosley, and Daryl Smith are as good as any linebacker quartet you’ll find around the league, but depth is certainly a question mark for this unit as free-agent-to-be Courtney Upshaw is the only other linebacker on the roster who played more than 42 defensive snaps last season. This may not be a major factor for 2015, but general manager Ozzie Newsome has to be thinking about the need to get younger at the position with Suggs, Dumervil, and Smith all on the wrong side of 30. The good news is that it appears the Ravens found the anchor of their defense for years to come with Mosley becoming the first player in franchise history to make the Pro Bowl in his rookie season. If the 2014 first-round pick can improve in pass coverage, he could quickly solidify his standing as one of the best inside linebackers in the NFL.

One to watch: Saddled with the burden of needing to replace situational pass rusher Pernell McPhee this offseason, the Ravens selected Za’Darius Smith from Kentucky in the fourth round of this year’s draft. Besides wearing No. 90 and sporting dreadlocks, Smith plays with a similar style and reminded the organization of McPhee during the pre-draft evaluation process. Considering Upshaw has never shown consistent ability to get after the quarterback, it will be of the utmost importance for Smith to be able to step in for Suggs and Dumervil and to apply some pressure in the pocket on a part-time basis.

One on notice: There’s no way to sugarcoat how disappointing Arthur Brown has been after he didn’t take a defensive snap last season, meaning this summer could be make-or-break time for the 2013 second-round pick. Brown was active for just four games in his second season, meaning Baltimore didn’t even see enough value in him as a special-teams player. No one would suggest at this point that he needs to overtake Mosley or Daryl Smith for a starting job, but Brown must show a better understanding of the defense and improved ability on special teams or it might be time to cut bait.

Sleeper: Zach Orr was one of the surprises to make the 53-man roster out of training camp last year, but it will be interesting to see if the former undrafted free agent becomes a bigger factor as a defensive player in his second season. With Brown disappointing and special-teams standout Albert McClellan scheduled to carry a $1.2 million cap figure, Orr has a golden opportunity to step forward as the primary backup at the inside linebacker position and to further solidify his standing on the roster. With Mosley sidelined in the spring due to wrist surgery, Orr received quite a few of the defensive reps before Brown.

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Examining the Ravens’ possible 2015 salary cap cuts

Posted on 03 February 2015 by Luke Jones

With Super Bowl XLIX now in the books and the 2014 season officially over, the Ravens are continuing to make plans for 2015 as they evaluate a tight salary cap and try to improve from a 10-6 campaign that resulted in a trip to the divisional round of the playoffs.

The NFL has yet to set the 2015 salary cap, which is projected to increase from $133 million this past season to somewhere between $138 million and $142 million for the upcoming year. That’s good news for the Ravens as they currently own a commitment of over $137 million for players currently under contract, per Spotrac.com.

With a slew of key free agents to address as well as visions of trying to improve other areas of the roster, general manager Ozzie Newsome will face some difficult decisions pertaining to several veterans on the roster. That begins and ends with five-time Pro Bowl selection Haloti Ngata, who is entering the final season of a five-year, $61 million deal signed in 2011. Easily one of the best players in franchise history, the 31-year-old defensive tackle finds himself in a similar position to the one Terrell Suggs was in last year before he signed a contract extension to lower his 2014 cap figure.

A name not included on the list of potential cap casualties below is tight end Dennis Pitta, whose $4 million base salary for 2015 is guaranteed. It remains unclear whether Pitta will play football again after suffering two serious hip injuries in two years, but cutting him this offseason would increase his cap figure for 2015.

It’s important to remember the rule of 51 as the top 51 cap numbers on the roster count against the salary cap. The savings from any released player are offset in part by an additional player jumping into the top 51 from the bottom of the list. For example, if a released player carrying a $3 million cap number is replaced in the top 51 by another player carrying a $405,000 cap number, the end result is a $2.595 million savings on the salary cap.

Here’s how I’d rank the list of possible candidates to be cut for cap purposes (with the pre-June 1 cap savings noted in parentheses), in order from most likely to least likely:

1. DE Chris Canty ($2.66 million)
Skinny: The 32-year-old may take this decision out of the Ravens’ hands as he acknowledged at the end of the season that he’s contemplating retirement. Injuries limited his production in 2014, and the Ravens will likely push to re-sign the underrated Lawrence Guy while looking toward young defensive linemen Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore to be factors at Canty’s 5-technique defensive end spot. With so many other pressing needs elsewhere and a few younger options at this position, Canty returning would be more of a luxury than a necessity for next season, making it likely that he’s played his final game with Baltimore.

2. WR Jacoby Jones ($750,000)
Skinny: On the surface, the minimal savings gained by cutting the return specialist now wouldn’t appear worth it, but you have to wonder where Jones fits after falling behind the likes of Marlon Brown and Kamar Aiken on the depth chart and not appearing as explosive in the return game in 2014. A possible strategy would be to designate Jones as a post-June 1 cut, which would create $2.5 million in savings for the summer and autumn when the Ravens need a “rainy day” fund to account for injuries. The only problem with that strategy is his scheduled 2015 cap number of $3.375 million staying on the books during the first few months of free agency, but it just doesn’t feel like there’s a place for Jones moving forward.

3. LB Albert McClellan ($1 million)
Skinny: A core member of Jerry Rosburgh’s special teams units over the last few years, McClellan has been a reliable player, but other young inside linebackers such as Arthur Brown and Zachary Orr are cheaper and should be ready to handle more responsibility. Of course, we’re not talking about a great deal of savings here, but veteran special-teams players are typically among the first to go when teams are dealing with cap pains.

4. P Sam Koch ($2.5 million)
Skinny: Many assumed Koch would be a cap casualty last year with his high price tag for a punter, but the Ravens value his ability a great deal and regard him as one of the best in the NFL. That said, Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker is a restricted free agent and will be looking for a long-term contract over the next 12 months. If Koch is willing to sign a team-friendly extension to lower his cap number, the Ravens would be more than happy to keep him around, but they probably can’t afford to pay their kicker and punter in the top 10 at their respective positions. Entering the final year of his contract, Koch is more likely to be a casualty this year than he was last offseason.

5. DT Haloti Ngata ($8.5 million)
Skinny: The only certainty is that the longtime Raven won’t be playing for his scheduled $16 million cap figure. Whether that means he signs an extension like Suggs or is cut remains to be seen. Ngata’s 2014 season was his best in a few years, but his four-game suspension for Adderall use allowed the Ravens to take an extended look at 2014 second-round pick Timmy Jernigan, who played very well in the 31-year-old’s absence. The sides talked about an extension last season with little progress, so it will be interesting to see how motivated Ngata is to make amends for his suspension and finish his career in Baltimore. The Ravens must be smart as it’s typically unwise to throw money at defensive linemen on the wrong side of 30.

6. CB Lardarius Webb ($2 million)
Skinny: It was a disappointing year for the 29-year-old after he missed all of training camp and three of the first four games of the season with a back injury. Since suffering the second anterior cruciate ligament tear of his career in 2012, Webb has looked like nothing better than average, which is problematic when he’s carrying a $12 million cap figure for 2015. However, cutting him this winter would only save $2 million and create less depth at a position where the Ravens are already looking to improve. Newsome may ask Webb to take a pay cut, but it’s difficult envisioning the Ravens depleting their depth at cornerback further — even if he’s no more than average at this pointby cutting him outright for minimal savings.

 

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Ravens waive veteran linebacker Bynes, re-sign cornerback Cox

Posted on 02 September 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens returned to the practice field Tuesday by making their first adjustment to their 53-man roster by waiving veteran inside linebacker Josh Bynes and re-signing cornerback Derek Cox.

All 53 players on the roster were present and working as they prepare for the 2014 season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, but the departure of Bynes was surprising as the Ravens preferred to keep special-teams standout Albert McClellan and rookie free agent Zach Orr behind starting inside linebackers Daryl Smith and C.J. Mosley. Bynes made six starts last season in place of the injured Jameel McClain and collected 45 tackles and three pass breakups over 15 games.

Bynes made the final tackle of Super Bowl XLVII to help the Ravens win their second NFL championship at the conclusion of the 2012 season.

“All I can tell you about Josh Bynes is if we can ever bring him back, we will, in whatever capacity we can,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s been a Raven through and through; he’s done nothing but help us be our best; he’s [been] completely all in for everything that we’ve ever done here. I love Josh, and I know he’ll do well no matter what he does.”

With only four cornerbacks on their 53-man roster when they made final cuts on Saturday, the Ravens brought back Cox to add depth and another veteran to compete with Asa Jackson and Chykie Brown for the No. 3 cornerback spot. Baltimore signed Cox last week after he was cut by the Minnesota Vikings on Aug. 25, but he was initially cut over the weekend.

General manager Ozzie Newsome has been pursuing other options at the cornerback position as the Ravens lack depth behind starters Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith, who were both slowed by injuries during the summer. The good news was the sight of Webb (back), Smith (chest), and Jackson (ankle) all taking part in drills during the portion of practice open to media on Tuesday.

Cox began his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars after being taken in the third round of the 2009 draft. The William & Mary product started 45 games for Jacksonville over our seasons before signing a four-year, $20 million contract with the San Diego Chargers prior to the 2013 campaign.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound defensive back began 2013 as a starter before being benched for poor play and losing his starting job in Week 13. He finished with 38 tackles, one interception, and seven pass breakups in 16 games, 11 of them starts. According to Pro Football Focus, Cox graded out 106th out of 110 cornerbacks to play at least 25 percent of his team’s snaps during the 2013 season.

Cox was released by the Chargers in March and signed a one-year contract with the Vikings later that month, but Minnesota parted ways with him when teams were forced to cut their preseason roster from 90 to 75 players.

Tight end Owen Daniels (leg), running back Bernard Pierce (head), offensive lineman Jah Reid (head), and safety Matt Elam (leg) were all present and participating in practice once again after they all returned to practice on Saturday. After Harbaugh had repeatedly told reporters that Daniels was dealing with general leg soreness and swelling, the 31-year-old acknowledged after Tuesday’s practice that he’s been stricken with a hamstring injury.

“I feel really good. I had a little hammy issue, but that’s all cleared up [and] I’m ready to go,” Daniels said. “I’m excited to get going this first week. I got a ton of good work in those first two weeks. Obviously, I would have liked to have been out there those middle two [preseason] games. We played it smart. Week 1 is the most important thing.”

The Ravens also have a pair of jersey number changes as rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro is now wearing No. 15 and Orr is sporting No. 54.

 

 

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B&B Big Story Banter: Preseason Week 2 Ravens Watch

Posted on 15 August 2014 by WNST Staff

By: Brett Dickinson and Barry Kamen

With the Baltimore Ravens heading into their second preseason game, there is still a lot of questions pertaining to the current roster. Injuries have plagued the practice field and concerns have arisen about the depth at certain positions.  Before the Ravens head to Jerry-World to face the Cowboys, we give you four Ravens to keep an eye on in Week 2 of the preseason.

Sammy Seamster (Cornerback)-Brett

Sammy SeamsterWith LarDarius Webb having a back injury, along with Asa Jackson leaving practice earlier this week, an already thin unit now has serious issues. Seamster is an undrafted rookie free agent, but had a legit shot to make the team before the depth chart began to look baron. Now with those injuries the Ravens brass will be counting on Seamster to play significant minutes for the rest of the preseason.

He has good size, standing at 6’0″ and ideal to play on the outside in most defensive alignments. He could even get some minutes against the ones for the Cowboys, which could help examine his merits against the likes of one of the best wide receivers in the league in Dez Bryant.  Either way, Dallas has a prolific offense that will be a test for the rookie and determine if he is ready to be the “next man up” or if general manager Ozzie Newsome needs sort through the waiver wire for another cornerback.

Albert McClellan (Inside Linebacker)Barry

Albert McClellanWhile Brett watches the rookies, I will be watching the veterans. McClellan has been an unheralded player for the Baltimore Ravens since he made his debut three seasons ago. After signing as an undrafted free agent out of Marshall in 2010, McClellan made the transition from college defensive end to outside linebacker, carving his niche on special teams and proving his worth to coach John Harbaugh, who has a soft spot for the special teams units. McClellan also moved to inside linebacker when Ray Lewis fell victim to a triceps injury in 2012.

At the moment, McClellan finds himself buried on the team’s depth chart. With veteran Daryl Smith and  two top draft choices in C.J. Mosley and Arthur Brown guaranteed roster spots, McClellan will battle with Josh Bynes for playing time, and possible a roster spot. In order to solidify his position, McClellan must lead a young special teams unit, and show that he can still get to the quarterback from the inside linebacker position.

Crockett Gillmore (Tight End)-Brett

Crockett GillmoreThough he did not come down with a catch in the first preseason game, expect to see more from the rookie tight end against Dallas and their porous defense. With H-back Kyle Juszczyk proving to be an assest in the passing game in week one of the preseason, the team may be switching its direction at tight end. Even though he is known more as a blocker, Gillmore may be the big target the Ravens have been looking for on third down and in the red zone.

With veteran tight end Owen Daniels under-performing at camp, the Ravens could look to save his roster spot for a thinner position. If Gillmore can prove to be a weapon in the passing game, the organization may be inclined to stick with him as the primary backup to tight end Dennis Pitta.  With only 53 men available, every roster spot becomes that much more vital; if Gillmore fulfills both roles in the running and passing game, the Ravens have a cheaper option, while adding room for another piece at a different position.

Jah Reid (Guard/Tackle)Barry 

After another disappointing season and an offseason that included an arrest, I thought that the Jah Reid era in Baltimore had finally come to a close. Apparently, the big man has other ideas. Reid has been getting second team repetitions at right tackle behind Rick Wagner, and has shed some weight to help ease the transition to tackle. The former third round pick out of Central Florida has yet to make the leap into the starting lineup that the team expected, but appears to be getting comfortable with offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak and offensive line coach Juan Castillo. While I still cringe at the thought of Reid competing to be the team’s starting right tackle, the  mantra “better late than never” applies.

The expectation for Saturday night’s game against the Cowboys is for Reid to continue to play with the second team, which could amount to two full quarters and somewhere between 4-6 offensive series. If Reid has a solid game, there’s a good chance that he sees some time with the first team offense moving forward. Following last year’s week 1 debacle against Denver, where Michael Oher went down early and Wagner was forced to play, the Ravens should ensure that Reid has experience playing next to the team’s best lineman in Marshal Yanda.

 

 

Listen to Brett Dickinson and Barry Kamen every Saturday morning from 9a-12p on “The Brett and Barry Show”. 

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Live from Owings Mills: Ravens concerned about injury to DL Urban

Posted on 30 July 2014 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens returned to practice Wednesday after their first off day of Training Camp for 2014.

The session was short for two rookie defensive linemen, both of whom were injured on the same play. DL Brent Urban had to be carted off the field after suffering an injury to his right knee. Urban was pancaked on the play by OL Jah Reid and appeared to suffer the injury during the course of the block. Away from that block, DL Tim Jernigan was also hurt-he limped off the field appearing to have injured his back.

Head coach John Harbaugh downplayed the injury to Jernigan, saying he “looks fine” after practice. The news did not appear to be as good for the team’s fifth round pick out of Virginia, as Harbaugh said the team was “a little more concerned about” the knee injury.

“We’re going to have to see, he’s going to get a MRI tonight” Harbaugh added. “We’ll just hope and pray for the best on that one.”

Center Jeremy Zuttah was also banged up during the course of practice but did not have to leave the session and Harbaugh also declared his injury as “fine”.

DL Chris Canty returned to the practice field Wednesday after missing Monday night’s public practice at M&T Bank Stadium for family reasons. OL Parker Graham also returned to the practice field after missing the last few sessions with a groin injury.

Two new Ravens were not on the practice field Wednesday. LB Albert McClellan did not participate in the session, he had battled a lower body issue during Monday night’s practice that had forced him to limp off the field at one point. LB Daryl Smith also did not participate in practice for unknown reasons. With Smith out, Josh Bynes took a number of the first team reps next to first round pick C.J. Mosley.

Three other players remained away from the practice field Wednesday. OL Will Rackley (head) remained out, as did CB Lardarius Webb (back/neck). The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday Webb had “no structural damage” and was instead dealing with a muscular issue.

With Webb out, CB Chykie Brown appeared to get the majority of first team reps-CB Asa Jackson had seemed to receive more of the first team reps in the previous two practices.

DL Terrence Cody (hip) also did not participate, remaining on the Active Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

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Ravens reportedly reach two-year agreement with linebacker McClellan

Posted on 09 March 2014 by Luke Jones

With the start of free agency falling at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the Ravens took care of one of their two restricted free agents Sunday by coming to an agreement with linebacker Albert McClellan.

The fourth-year linebacker agreed to a two-year deal in lieu of receiving a restricted tender, according to The Sun. McClellan was primarily a special-teams player in 2013, appearing in 15 games and making 12 tackles, but has the ability to play all four positions in the Ravens’ 3-4 base defense.

The Ravens could have elected to offer McClellan the low tender worth $1.431 million, which would have given them the right to match any offer sheet had another team tried to sign him. However, a two-year contract will likely bring a smaller cap figure for 2014 and keep a solid depth player under control for an additional season if he remains in Baltimore’s plans.

McClellan’s best season came in 2012 when he started 11 games and collected 49 tackles and a sack.

An undrafted free agent out of Marshall in 2010, McClellan spent his first season on the Ravens’ practice squad before eventually cracking the 53-man roster in 2011.

 

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Bynes, McClellan absent from practice for second straight day

Posted on 17 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens continued to look in good shape from a health standpoint Thursday as linebackers Josh Bynes and Albert McClellan were the only players absent from practice.

Continuing preparations for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens saw the return of defensive end Chris Canty (thigh) to practice after he was listed as a non-participant on Wednesday’s report. It was believed that Canty simply received a day off to rest as he was upgraded to full participation on Thursday.

Bynes is dealing with an infected finger and a thigh injury, but coach John Harbaugh painted a positive prognosis for the 24-year-old linebacker prior to Wednesday’s practice. McClellan hasn’t taken part in a practice since the week leading up to the Week 4 loss in Buffalo as he continues to nurse a shoulder injury, but the special-teams standout has played in each of the last two games.

Wide receiver Brandon Stokley did not participate on Thursday after practicing fully a day earlier. He has dealt with a lingering groin injury for a few weeks.

Inside linebacker Jameel McClain was present and working for the second straight day after being cleared to return to the football field. There is no specified timetable for McClain to be moved onto the 53-man roster for game action, but he was listed as a full participant on Wednesday’s injury report as he practiced for the first time since suffering a spinal cord contusion on Dec. 9 of last year.

Techinically, the Ravens are not required to list McClain on the injury report since he isn’t part of the active roster, but his return to practice after being on the physically unable to perform list triggered the start of a 21-day window in which he may beginning practicing. At the end of the three-week period, the Ravens must place him on the 53-man roster or season-ending injured reserve. However, he can be activated sooner than that if they so choose.

Meanwhile, the Steelers’ first-round rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones was upgraded to limited participation as he continues to recover from a concussion. Reports from Pittsburgh were encouraging regarding his status for Sunday’s game at Heinz Field.

Here is the full injury report for Thursday:

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Josh Bynes (thigh, finger), LB Albert McClellan (shoulder), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: CB Chykie Brown (thigh), DT Terrence Cody (knee), C Ryan Jensen (foot), DT Haloti Ngata (elbow), LB Courtney Upshaw (foot), CB Lardarius Webb (thigh)
FULL PARTICIPATION: DE Chris Canty (thigh), LB Jameel McClain (neck), DT Marcus Spears (knee)

PITTSBURGH
OUT: WR Markus Wheaton (finger)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: TE Richard Gordon (toe)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Jarvis Jones (head), T Marcus Gilbert (quad)
FULL PARTICIPATION: DE Brett Keisel (abdomen), TE Heath Miller (non-injury related), LB LaMarr Woodley (knee)

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McClain cleared to return to practice after 10-month absence

Posted on 16 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — More than 10 months after suffering a spinal cord contusion that threatened his football future, inside linebacker Jameel McClain returned to practice on Wednesday as the Ravens continued preparations for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

McClain remains on the reserve physically unable to perform list for now, but his return to the practice field triggered the start of a 21-day window in which the sixth-year linebacker may practice. Though he may return prior to the end of the three-week period, McClain must be added to the active roster at the end of the window or placed on season-ending injured reserve.

Coach John Harbaugh confirmed that McClain has been cleared to return to the football field after recovering from a spinal cord injury suffered against the Washington Redskins on Dec. 9 of last season, but no decision has been made on his status against Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Ravens have their bye in Week 8, making it plausible that they would ease McClain back into practices this week with the thought of activating him after the bye.

“We’re going to practice Jameel McClain today,” Harbaugh said prior to practice. “He’s eligible to do that. We do not know what that means for this week, next week, or the week after. We do know that it means within three weeks that we’ve got to make a decision about whether we’d put him on the 53-man roster. We’ll just have to see how it goes with that.”

How McClain will fit within the defense remains to be seen as inside linebacker Daryl Smith has been arguably the biggest surprise of the season and has handled making the calls in the defensive huddle admirably through the first six weeks of the season. Having made 45 starts in his NFL career, McClain could potentially unseat Josh Bynes at the weakside inside linebacker spot, a position he played next to the retired Ray Lewis in past seasons.

For now, McClain is pleased to prove doubters wrong about his ability to return to football and will work to get himself back into football shape after continuing to work out and attend meetings at the team’s Owings Mills facility since he was injured late last season. The Syracuse product and Philadelphia native feels he’s ready to play right away but acknowledged that the coaches and training staff will ultimately decide when he returns to game action.

However, the itch is there for McClain to return to action with his injury fully healed.

“You understand the feeling of watching people play day in and day out,” said McClain, who admitted using his doubters as motivation to keep working hard as his spinal cord healed. “Getting to see my teammates put their pads on and go out and do work while I had to stand around and watch, it’s no doubt that I’m itching. I’m preparing myself mentally and especially physically coming into this game.”

Cody returns to practice; Bynes, Canty sidelined

In addition to McClain, defensive tackle Terrence Cody returned to the practice field on Wednesday for the first time since injuring his knee in the first quarter of the Ravens’ win over the Houston Texans on Sept. 22.

Cody has missed three straight games but practiced on a limited basis after telling reporters last week that he was moving closer to a return to action. Rookie Brandon Williams has taken Cody’s place in several defensive sub packages, which will make for an interesting competition for reps between the first-year player and Cody, who is scheduled to become a free agent after the season.

Inside linebackers Josh Bynes and Albert McClellan and defensive end Chris Canty (thigh) were absent from Wednesday’s practice, making McClain’s return a welcome sight for a lighter group of inside linebackers. While McClellan has missed the last two weeks of practice — though he’s played in each of the last two games — Harbaugh revealed that Bynes is dealing with a finger injury.

“Josh Bynes has an infection in his finger, which he cut a couple of weeks ago,” Harbaugh said. “He was actually in the hospital last night with it. He got good news. It’s good — it’s clearing up.”

Canty was present and dressed out to work during the portion of practice open to the media before being listed as a non-participant, perhaps indicating a day of rest for the veteran defensive lineman.

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (hip and elbow) was practicing after straining his elbow in the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Wednesday’s injury report

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Josh Bynes (thigh, finger), DE Chris Canty (thigh), LB Albert McClellan (shoulder)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: CB Chykie Brown (thigh), DT Terrence Cody (knee), C Ryan Jensen (foot), DT Haloti Ngata (elbow), LB Courtney Upshaw (foot), CB Lardarius Webb (thigh)
FULL PARTICIPATION: LB Jameel McClain (neck), DT Marcus Spears (knee), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh)

PITTSBURGH
OUT: WR Markus Wheaton (finger)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Jarvis Jones (head)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: T Marcus Gilbert (quad), DE Brett Keisel (abdomen), TE Heath Miller (non-injury related), LB LaMarr Woodley (knee)

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Ngata, J. Jones, Osemele among 11 Ravens players questionable for Sunday

Posted on 11 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After he missed the first two practices of the week while dealing with a hip injury, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata returned to practice on Friday and was listed as questionable with 10 other Ravens players for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

There was no indication over the course of the week that Ngata’s injury was serious, and his presence during Friday’s workout was a positive development as the Ravens try to improve to 11-0 at home against NFC opponents in the John Harbaugh era. No injury for Ngata was reported by the Ravens in the immediate aftermath of their Week 5 win in Miami last weekend.

“We gave Haloti a few days [off]. He had little tweaks and strains and things like that,” coach John Harbaugh said after Friday’s practice. “We gave him a couple days, but he looked good today. He’s going to play. He should be fine.”

Wide receivers Jacoby Jones (knee), Marlon Brown (hamstring), and Brandon Stokley (groin), offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele (back) and Ryan Jensen (foot), running back Bernard Pierce (thigh), and defensive tackle Marcus Spears (knee) were all listed as questionable after practicing as limited participants on Friday. Of that group, Jensen is the most unlikely to play after only returning to the practice field on Thursday for the first time since late July. All others practiced on a limited basis for the entire week, giving them favorable odds to play against the Packers.

While defensive players practiced their customary jersey swap for Friday’s practice, cornerback Chykie Brown (thigh) was absent from the workout. He was added to Thursday’s injury report as a limited participant, which could be an indication that an injury occurred during that day’s practice. The third-year cornerback was also designated as questionable for Sunday’s game.

Linebacker Albert McClellan (shoulder) and defensive tackle Terrence Cody (knee) were not practicing for the third straight day. Cody was listed as doubtful and is expected to miss his third straight game while McClellan — deemed questionable — played against the Dolphins last Sunday despite having not practiced at all in the week leading up to that contest in Miami.

Safety Michael Huff is also questionable for Sunday’s game after being added to the injury report as a limited participant on Friday.

Harbaugh offered a positive report on Jones, who completed his second week of practice and told reporters earlier this week that he intended to increase his activity level in hopes of playing for the first time since the season opener on Sept. 5.

“All the guys who practiced looked good. Jacoby comes to mind,” Harbaugh said. “He looked good, so [we’re] encouraged.”

Meanwhile, the Packers have already ruled out five players for Sunday’s game, including Pro Bowl outside linebacker Clay Matthews and inside linebacker Brad Jones.

Here is the final injury report of the week:

BALTIMORE
DOUBTFUL: DT Terrence Cody (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Chykie Brown (thigh), WR Marlon Brown (thigh), S Michael Huff (back), C Ryan Jensen (foot), WR Jacoby Jones (knee), LB Albert McClellan (shoulder), DT Haloti Ngata (hip), G Kelechi Osemele (back), RB Bernard Pierce (thigh), DT Marcus Spears (knee), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh)

GREEN BAY
OUT: CB Casey Hayward (hamstring), LB Brad Jones (hamstring), LB Clay Matthews (thumb), RB James Starks (knee), G/C Greg Van Roten (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Jarrett Bush (hamstring)
PROBABLE: LB Sam Barrington (hip), LB Andy Mulumba (ankle), DT Ryan Pickett (hand)

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Ngata missing from practice for second straight day

Posted on 10 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata was missing from practice for the second straight day as the Ravens continued preparations for the Green Back Packers on Thursday.

Practicing inside with steady rain falling at their Owings Mills facility, the Ravens were without their starting nose tackle again as the 29-year-old continues to recover from a hip issue. There have been no indications that the ailment is serious and no injury was reported in the aftermath of Sunday’s game in Miami, so it will be interesting to see whether the standout defensive lineman is able to log some practice time on Friday to quell concerns surrounding his status against the Packers.

Defensive tackle Terrence Cody (knee) and linebacker Albert McClellan (shoulder) were also absent from Thursday’s practice as Cody appears likely to miss his third straight game since being injured in the first quarter of the Ravens’ Week 3 win over the Houston Texans on Sept. 22. McClellan played against Miami despite missing practices all last week and continues to rehab his injured shoulder.

The Ravens saw the return of rookie offensive lineman Ryan Jensen to practice for the first time since he broke his foot during the first week of training camp in late July. The sixth-round pick from Colorado State-Pueblo is regarded as an intriguing prospect at center who could provide good interior line depth, a reason why the Ravens elected to keep him on the 53-man roster all this time.

Wide receivers Jacoby Jones (knee), Marlon Brown (hamstring), and Brandon Stokley (groin) all practiced on Thursday after being limited participants a day earlier. Along with several other teammates, Jones was sporting pink cleats and pink gloves to break them in for Sunday’s game in which the Ravens will celebrate breast cancer awareness in addition to sporting their alternate black jerseys.

Starting left guard Kelechi Osemele (back spasms) was practicing for the second straight day and appears to be a good bet to play against Green Bay as long as he doesn’t suffer a setback.

Though he remains on injured reserve with the designation to return later this season, tight end Dennis Pitta played catch with quarterback Joe Flacco during the opening portion of practice and appeared fairly mobile as he did last week while catching balls from the Jugs machine. Flacco joked with his close friend and teammate at one point, asking if he was ready to come back yet.

According to coach John Harbaugh, Pitta has been running on the treadmill and is making great progress, but his return is still considered “a ways away.”

Here is Thursday’s injury report:

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DT Terrence Cody (knee), LB Albert McClellan (shoulder), DT Haloti Ngata (hip)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Marlon Brown (thigh), RB Shaun Draughn (ankle), WR Jacoby Jones (knee), G Kelechi Osemele (back), RB Bernard Pierce (thigh), DT Marcus Spears (knee), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh), C Ryan Jensen (foot), CB Chykie Brown (thigh)

GREEN BAY
OUT: LB Brad Jones (hamstring), LB Clay Matthews (thumb), RB James Starks (knee), G/C Greg Van Roten (foot)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: CB Jarrett Bush (hamstring), LB Andy Mulumba (ankle)
LIMITED: DT Ryan Pickett (hand), CB Casey Hayward (hamstring)

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