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Early observations from 2014 Ravens training camp

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Early observations from 2014 Ravens training camp

Posted on 27 July 2014 by Luke Jones

With 2014 training camp officially underway and the Ravens attempting to bounce back from their first non-playoff season of the John Harbaugh era, there are a number of early (too early?) takeaways from the practice field in Owings Mills.

1. Steve Smith has looked like an elite player.

It’s fair to express doubts over a 35-year-old wide receiver whose yards per catch average has dropped in three consecutive years, but Smith has been as good as advertised going back to organized team activities in the spring, catching everything in sight and regularly beating cornerbacks during practices. On Saturday, he made an excellent catch on a deep ball defended by Chykie Brown and later made an impressive adjustment on a pass thrown behind him on a slant pattern. Of course, it’s important not to get carried away with how anyone performs in July, but if Smith can be that reliable target to help move the chains and provide a safety net for quarterback Joe Flacco, the investment in the 14th-year receiver will be well worth it.

2. The No. 3 cornerback for the 2014 Ravens may not yet be on the roster.

The organization spent plenty of time this offseason talking up the potential of Brown and Asa Jackson, but it’s difficult to find anyone on the field in which defensive coordinator Dean Pees would have confidence using in the nickel package along with Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb. Brown has bit on play-action fakes and has struggled to find the ball when he is in position while Jackson — who is an inside defender in the nickel package — has also been beaten deep on a couple occasions. To make matters worse, Dominique Franks still hasn’t passed his conditioning test after fellow veteran newcomer Aaron Ross tore his Achilles tendon taking the same test. The Ravens would prefer to use Webb inside in the nickel, but there have been no signs of anyone currently on the roster being capable of handling duties as the third cornerback.

3. Left guard Kelechi Osemele is moving well and is the biggest key for the offensive line.

The third-year lineman has moved well early in camp and will be the key in determining how effective the interior offensive line can be in 2014 after it was undersized and ineffective last season. It’s still too early to gauge whether his surgically-repaired back will be in issue, but Osemele delivered an impressive block 10 yards downfield that sent safety Darian Stewart to the ground on Saturday afternoon, a telling example of the improved mobility he simply didn’t have early last year. If the Ravens can be strong inside with Osemele and Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda flanking new center Jeremy Zuttah, it will alleviate much of the pressure on Rick Wagner or whoever mans the right tackle position.

4. Veteran newcomer Darian Stewart has impressed and is the early favorite to start at free safety.

His unfortunate encounter with Osemele aside, Stewart has displayed good athleticism at the safety position and looks to be the favorite to line up next to Matt Elam in the starting defense. The former St. Louis Rams safety is versatile with the ability to line up closer to the line of scrimmage or to play the more traditional free position, and Pees has said on a number of occasions that he’s looking to mirror his safeties more than just having a traditional strong and free one. Rookie Terrence Brooks will need to make significant strides between now and the start of the season as he appears to be thinking too much when lined up on the field and has worked primarily with the third-string defense to this early point. Secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo is familiar with Stewart going back to their days in St. Louis, so the Ravens hope they’ve found another value signing like they did with Corey Graham a couple years ago.

5. New offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak loves to move his skill players around in formations.

The Ravens are sure to experience growing pains implementing their new offensive system, but Kubiak has experimented plenty with his skill players to find strengths and weakness as well as potentially exploit vulnerabilities in a defense in a given matchup. His creative use of tight ends is a well-documented characteristic of his West Coast system, but it will be fun to watch how he uses fullback Kyle Juszczyk and big wide receiver Marlon Brown in addition to Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels this season. Ultimately, offensive success in the NFL comes down to winning 1-on-1 matchups no matter how clever your schemes might be, but pre-snap movement has been a regular feature of what we’ve seen so far in Owings Mills.

6. Linebacker Courtney Upshaw looks too heavy for the third straight preseason.

Coach John Harbaugh was more complimentary of Upshaw’s conditioning in the spring, but the third-year linebacker looks bigger at the start of training camp than he did during OTAs, continuing a theme of the 2012 second-round pick not taking the best care of his body. In fairness to Upshaw, he hasn’t noticeably labored during his first few practices, but temperatures have also been favorable thus far. He has been solid in his first couple seasons and has flashed potential to be better than that, but it’s just difficult to project a player to improve when he spends too much time playing catchup with his weight every summer. The early expectation is that Upshaw will once again split time with Elvis Dumervil at the strongside outside linebacker position.

7. Rookie defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan has a rare combination of strength and quickness that’s fun to watch.

More attention has been paid to first-round linebacker C.J. Mosley, but Jernigan is becoming an early favorite of Pees as he’s been very active and has shown plenty of power in the trenches early in camp. Brandon Williams is the favorite to line up as the starting nose tackle, but there’s no reason Jernigan won’t be a regular member in the rotation, and his play could be a deciding factor in how the Ravens handle the final year of Haloti Ngata’s contract after the season. Pees quipped on Saturday that Jernigan doesn’t always follow his assignment, but he’ll make a big play anyway, which is pretty high praise for a rookie defensive lineman just a few days into his first training camp.

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Ravens CB Jackson confident after team did not address position this off season

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Ravens CB Jackson confident after team did not address position this off season

Posted on 07 June 2014 by WNST Audio

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Cornerback Graham signs four-year contract with Buffalo

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Cornerback Graham signs four-year contract with Buffalo

Posted on 12 March 2014 by Luke Jones

While the Ravens were able to re-sign wide receiver Jacoby Jones earlier in the day, cornerback Corey Graham agreed to a four-year contract with the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday.

According to CBS Sports, the deal is worth $16 million and could rise to $19 million with playing-time incentives as Graham was looking for more money and playing time than the Ravens would provide. A Buffalo, N.Y. native, Graham came to Baltimore known primarily as a special-teams player and emerged as a starting cornerback for the Super Bowl XLVII championship team after injuries forced him into a significant role.

The 28-year-old grabbed six interceptions and made 134 tackles in 32 regular-season games for the Ravens after signing a two-year, $3.95 million contract in 2012. His biggest claim to fame came in the 2012 divisional round when he twice picked off Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, returning one for a touchdown and securing a second to set up the Ravens on a short field in overtime that eventually led to the game-winning field goal.

After struggling in the season-opening loss to the Broncos last season, Graham was replaced by Jimmy Smith as a starter and served as the No. 3 corner for the remainder of the year. His departure leaves Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson in a competition for the third spot in the nickel package, but the Ravens are likely to add another cornerback via free agency or the draft to bolster their depth.

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Arthur Jones still absent from practice field for Ravens

Posted on 26 December 2013 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Returning to the practice field after a day off to celebrate Christmas, the Ravens were once again without one of their key defensive linemen as Arthur Jones was absent during Thursday’s workout.

The defensive tackle sustained a concussion in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s 41-7 loss to New England. It’s worth noting that Jones missed two games in the 2011 season because of a concussion as he goes through the league’s mandated protocol this week.

Jones has arguably been Baltimore’s best defensive lineman this year as he’s collected four sacks and 52 tackles in 14 games. He would likely be replaced by second-year lineman DeAngelo Tyson in the starting lineup should he not be cleared in time for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cornerback Asa Jackson (hamstring) was the only other player absent during the portion of practice open to media on Thursday.

Despite being listed as a non-participant on Wednesday’s estimated injury report, center Gino Gradkowski (knee) was present and working on a limited basis a day later. Running back Ray Rice (thigh), wide receiver Torrey Smith (hamstring), and linebackers Elvis Dumervil (ankle) and Albert McClellan (neck) were all practicing after being listed as limited on Wednesday’s estimated report.

Rice confirmed on Thursday that his quadriceps issue is not related to the early-season hip injury that’s plagued him for most of the season. He was not on the field Tuesday when the Ravens practiced prior to being off for the holiday.

“Tuesday was a great rest day [for] recovery,” Rice said. “Coach [John Harbaugh] is doing his best to try to take care of us. For me, having a long year, I needed the rest. It definitely felt good getting back out there today with the guys and getting up to speed. I didn’t miss much in terms of being in meetings and everything, but it’s nothing like getting a live rep out there.”

McClellan was upgraded to full participation after missing last Sunday’s game due to a neck injury.

Quarterback Joe Flacco (left knee) was present and working after not being included on the injury report. However, he will once again wear a knee brace.

For the Bengals, four starters were missing from Thursday’s practice as tight ends Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert, linebacker Vontaze Burfict, and cornerback Terence Newman were all sidelined.

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: CB Asa Jackson (thigh), DT Arthur Jones (concussion)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Elvis Dumervil (ankle), C Gino Gradkowski (knee), RB Ray Rice (thigh), WR Torrey Smith (thigh)
FULL PARTICIPATION: LB Albert McClellan (neck),

CINCINNATI
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion), TE Tyler Eifert (neck), TE Jermaine Gresham (hamstring), CB Terence Newman (knee), DT Devon Still (back)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: CB Dre Kirkpatrick (ankle), LB Vincent Rey (ankle), TE Alex Smith (concussion), OT Andre Smith (ankle)
FULL PARTICIPATION: LB James Harrison (concussion)

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Dumervil on mend as Ravens set sights toward Detroit

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Dumervil on mend as Ravens set sights toward Detroit

Posted on 09 December 2013 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILL, Md. — The Ravens escaped their win over the Minnesota Vikings without an extensive injury list, but veteran wide receiver Brandon Stokley joins linebacker Elvis Dumervil as question marks for next Monday’s game in Detroit.

Stokley left the game with a concussion in a fourth quarter that featured an astonishing 42 points scored between the two teams. It is believed that he was injured catching a 2-yard pass on third down that set the Ravens up for the fourth-and-1 play in which fullback Vonta Leach was stuffed for no gain at the Minnesota 21 with 10:36 remaining.

The 37-year-old wideout missed seven games earlier this season while nursing a groin injury but returned to play in the last three games, catching four passes for 36 yards. Stokley has dealt with at least 14 concussions in his football career dating back to his high school days, which could complicate how quickly he’s able to return to the field.

“He’ll go through the concussion protocol,” coach John Harbaugh said during his Monday press conference. “We’ll have to see how that shakes out. Unfortunately, he’s had a number of those in his career, so that could be problematic for us. We’ll have to see in the next 24 hours or so.”

Dumervil missed his first game of the season against Minnesota after he was unable to recover from a left ankle sprain suffered against Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving night. The pass-rush specialist returned to play in that key AFC North game, leaving the Ravens optimistic that he’d be able to play against the Vikings.

However, his progress was slower than expected last week and the snowy conditions at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday likely made the Ravens’ decision to deactivate him even easier. The Baltimore defense has failed to collect a sack in each of the last two games, which is a disturbing trend with meetings against Detroit’s Matthew Stafford and New England’s Tom Brady coming up in the next two weeks.

“I think Elvis has a chance for next week,” Harbaugh said. “He looks pretty good [Monday]. It’s kind of a bruise in his ankle, so we’ll just have to see where he’s at. I was hopeful for him this week, so I’ll be more hopeful for him next week.”

By all accounts, tight end Dennis Pitta made it through Sunday’s game feeling no ill effects after returning to action for the first time since dislocating and fracturing his hip on July 27. Pitta finished with six catches for 48 yards and reined in a 1-yard touchdown pass with 2:05 remaining in the game.

The Ravens were so confident in Pitta’s ability to play extensively against Minnesota that they listed veteran Dallas Clark as inactive, but Harbaugh said the 34-year-old still fits into the team’s plans moving forward. Clark’s limited ability as a blocker and his lack of a special-teams role make him a difficult player to include among the 46 active players on game days, especially if the Ravens plan to emphasize the running game in a given matchup.

“Dallas is going to be a big part of what we’re doing going forward,” Harbaugh said. “It just depends on the game plan and how the offensive coaches decide to put that together.”

Pass rush MIA

Masked in the euphoria of Sunday’s miraculous 29-26 win over Minnesota was the fourth-quarter struggles of the defense and its inability to collect a sack for a second straight week after 19 straight contests with at least two.

Harbaugh expressed concern over his defense’s inability to finish games strongly, but he didn’t seem as concerned with the pass rush, citing the ability of Minneseota quarterback Matt Cassel and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger a week earlier to get the ball out quickly. Of course, the snowy conditions Sunday left a few inches of snow on the field, which also impacted the rush in a way similar to the sloppy conditions in Chicago last month.

“I don’t think it’s a product of what people are doing differently. They’re getting the ball out pretty quick,” Harbaugh said. “There haven’t been a lot of downfield-route-type things. We had some maximum protection yesterday, two backs, and those kinds of things where they try to throw it down the field. They were mostly throwing fades or they threw seams over the middle. Those balls come out pretty quick. Field conditions were a factor … more than anything else.”

The absence of Dumveril left more pass-rushing situations for second-year linebacker Courtney Upshaw on Sunday and fellow outside linebacker Terrell Suggs extended his streak of games without a sack to five. Suggs earned at least one sack in seven of the first eight games of the 2013 season but hasn’t collected one since.

Flacco gets taste of own medicine

CONTINUE ON NEXT PAGE >>>>>

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Dumervil doubtful to play against Vikings on Sunday

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Dumervil doubtful to play against Vikings on Sunday

Posted on 06 December 2013 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The status of outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil and tight end Dennis Pitta will remain a mystery into the weekend as the Ravens make final preparations for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Dumervil’s status appears bleaker, however, after he was listed as doubtful on the final injury report of the week and missed his third straight day of practice on Friday. The rush specialist was deemed a game-time decision by coach John Harbaugh, who added that the veteran linebacker missing an entire week of practice wouldn’t prevent him from playing if he improved over the weekend.

Dumervil injured his left ankle late in the first half of the Thanksgiving win over the Pittsburgh Steelers but returned early in the third quarter to finish the game. Harbaugh said Monday that the Ravens would likely have to “nurse some things” when asked about Dumervil, but he also added that he expected all players banged up in the Pittsburgh game to be able to play Sunday against Minnesota.

“Earlier in the week, we felt like he was going to make it,” Harbaugh said after Friday’s practice. “He’s not a guy who has to practice to play. If he goes out there and feels like he can go, he will. If he doesn’t, he won’t.”

Dumervil leads the Ravens with 9 1/2 sacks and hasn’t missed a game since sitting out two with the Denver Broncos during the 2011 season.

Harbaugh would not disclose Friday whether Pitta would be making his 2013 season debut against the Vikings, but all signs point to that being the case after Pitta took part in full practices this week. The Ravens have brought him along slowly and have resisted the urge to push Pitta too fast as he works his way back from a serious hip injury suffered in late July.

“It felt good all week,” said Pitta, who added that the decision to play is ultimately up to him and how he feels. “It’s nice to get back in and go through full practices and stuff. We’ll see.”

With a wintry mix in the forecast for Sunday’s game against the Vikings, Harbaugh acknowledged the weather could be a factor in determining whether Pitta plays if the footing on the M&T Bank Stadium turf would be treacherous due to snow or sleet.

The Ravens will have until 4 p.m. on Saturday to move Pitta to the 53-man roster for him to be eligible to play against the Vikings. The expectation is that Pitta would play a limited number of snaps in his return to game action, but he was not listed on the final injury report since he was not on the 53-man roster as of Friday afternoon.

“It’s going to be how he gets through the week, how the doctors still have to look at it and make sure he’s going to be sound,” Harbaugh said.  “If they feel good about it, then he should be OK. He’s got a reasonable chance. We just have to see.”

The Ravens listed defensive end Chris Canty, cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Asa Jackson, and wide receiver Brandon Stokley as questionable after each player worked on a limited basis in practices this week. Canty and Webb are expected to take their normal places in the starting defense.

Rookie safety Brynden Trawick remains sidelined with an ankle injury and was officially ruled out. Trawick figures to be a likely candidate to be placed on injured reserve to clear a roster spot for Pitta.

Cornerback Jimmy Smith is probable after he completed the concussion protocol and was cleared earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, the Vikings ruled out quarterback Christian Ponder, tight end Kyle Rudolph, and cornerback Josh Robinson. Ponder hasn’t been cleared from the concussion he suffered against Chicago last Sunday, meaning backup Matt Cassel will start against the Ravens.

All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson is questionable with a groin injury, but he practiced on a limited basis Friday and is fully expected to play.

The referee for Sunday’s game will be Pete Morelli.

Sunday’s forecast calls for temperatures to be in the low 30s with an 80 percent chance of snow.

Here is the final injury report of the week:

BALTIMORE
OUT: S Brynden Trawick (ankle)
DOUBTFUL: LB Elvis Dumervil (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Chris Canty (shoulder), CB Asa Jackson (thigh), WR Brandon Stokley (knee), CB Lardarius Webb (abs)
PROBABLE: CB Jimmy Smith (concussion)

MINNESOTA
OUT: QB Christian Ponder (concussion), CB Josh Robinson (chest), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Larry Dean (knee), RB Adrian Peterson (groin), S Jamarca Sanford (ankle)
PROBABLE: DE Jared Allen (finger), RB Matt Asiata (shoulder), DT Fred Evans (knee), DT Sharif Floyd (illness), LB Chad Greenway (wrist), DE Everson Griffen (toe), S Andrew Sendejo (toe)

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Jimmy Smith, Daryl Smith miss practice on Wednesday

Posted on 06 November 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Returning to the practice field to intensify preparations for Sunday’s meeting against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens were without two defensive starters on Wednesday as cornerback Jimmy Smith and linebacker Daryl Smith were absent.

The third-year defensive back left early in the Week 9 loss to the Cleveland Browns with what was described as a groin injury by head coach John Harbaugh. Smith was feeling better on Monday, but his status will be monitored over the course of the week and veteran Corey Graham would start in his place should he be unable to play against the Bengals.

Meanwhile, the starting inside linebacker was absent during the portion of practice open to media with a thigh injury. Smith finished Sunday’s game with nine tackles and a sack despite picking up a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness.

Wide receiver Brandon Stokley (groin) was also absent from practice on Wednesday as was left guard Kelechi Osemele (back), who will be placed on injured reserve at some point this week.

Fresh off reinstatement following an eight-game suspension, second-year cornerback Asa Jackson was practicing and appears to have a good chance to be activated for Sunday’s game with Jimmy Smith currently ailing. The Ravens have a roster exemption that expires Monday before they must either place Jackson on the 53-man roster or waive him.

Rookie defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore also took the practice field for the first time as a member of the Ravens after he was selected in the sixth round of April’s draft and began the season on the non-football injury list while working his way back to full health. A Notre Dame product, Lewis-Moore tore his ACL in the BCS title game last January and now begins a 21-day window in which he can practice before the Ravens either place him on the 53-man roster or send him to season-ending injured reserve.

Since Jackson and Lewis-Moore aren’t currently on the 53-man roster, they did not appear on Wednesday’s injury report.

Coach John Harbaugh had no new information on the pending return of tight end Dennis Pitta, who could potentially return later this month from the dislocated hip he suffered in late July.

“I don’t know exactly [when he will be ready],” Harbaugh said. “When we talked about that time frame, that was a long time ago. Everything I’ve been told is that he is on schedule, but it’s still pretty vague and generic. We are getting close to that date. I’m interested to hear when he can start practicing again. I’ve been asking that question [and] haven’t gotten a yes yet. He’s closer than ever, obviously, and I have my fingers crossed — just like everybody else does.”

Meanwhile, the Bengals were without inside linebacker Rey Maualuga (knee) and left tackle Andrew Whitworth (non-injury related) on Wednesday.

Here is Wednesday’s official injury report:

BALTIMORE
OUT: G Kelechi Osemele (back)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: CB Jimmy Smith (thigh), LB Daryl Smith (thigh), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Marlon Brown (finger)

CINCINNATI
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Rey Maualuga (knee), DT Devon Still (elbow), LT Andrew Whitworth (non-injury related)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: RB Giovani Bernard (ribs), LB Mike Boley (hamstring), TE Jermaine Gresham (groin), G Kevin Zeitler (hamstring)

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Osemele going to IR, Asa Jackson suspension comes to end

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Osemele going to IR, Asa Jackson suspension comes to end

Posted on 04 November 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — As expected, the Ravens will place left guard Kelechi Osemele on season-ending injured reserve this week as he prepares to undergo back surgery to correct a bad disc that’s affected him in each of his first two seasons in the NFL.

Coach John Harbaugh confirmed the news on Monday as the Ravens regrouped from a disappointing 24-18 loss to the Cleveland Browns. After Osemele missed practices last Thursday and Friday, Harbaugh announced the second-year guard would be out for Sunday’s game and indicated his hopes of playing again in 2013 were very slim.

“He’s headed to IR,” Harbaugh said Monday. “He’s working right now with the doctors and his representative to find what type of surgery he wants to do and who’s the best person to do it.”

Backup center A.Q. Shipley made his first career start at left guard against the Browns and appears likely to remain as the starter at the position for now. The former Indianapolis Colt took over at left guard after the opening series against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 5 with Osemele unable to play with back spasms.

Third-year lineman Jah Reid and rookie Ryan Jensen will also be evaluated during practices, but Harbaugh indicated Shipley would remain the starter for at least the time being.

“A.Q.’s a pit bull. He’s a fighter in there,” Harbaugh said. “He’s smart. He knows what to do, and he plays with good technique. We’re pleased with the way he played.”

With Osemele expected to be placed on IR at some point this week, the Ravens could use the open roster spot to activate cornerback Asa Jackson from the reserve-suspended list. The 2012 fifth-round pick was suspended for eight games after testing positive for Adderall, his second violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

The groin injury suffered by starting cornerback Jimmy Smith against the Browns isn’t considered serious, but his uncertain status improves Jackson’s chances to return to the roster. The Ravens only have four cornerbacks on their 53-man roster, and Jackson would likely be a useful player to have on the kick coverage units.

“Asa says he’s been working hard [and] that he’s in great shape,” Harbaugh said. “He was working with trainers in Arizona and Los Angeles — some football trainers working on football-related stuff. Hopefully he’s in the kind of shape where he can slide right in there and help us.”

The Ravens would likely be granted a roster exemption if they wanted to take a few extra days to evaluate his level of conditioning since he hasn’t been able to practice with the team since early September.

The decision to remove Smith from the game on Sunday was more of a precautionary measure, but it’s a disappointing development for the 2011 first-round pick, who has struggled to stay healthy in his brief NFL career. However, Harbaugh said the cornerback was “feeling better” when he arrived at the team’s Owings Mills facility on Monday morning.

“He had a little groin in there, and we felt like it was better for Chykie [Brown] to play during the game — the trainers did,” Harbaugh said. “He’ll keep working on that through the course of the week, and we’ll see how that develops and see how he practices Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.”

Jackson is the second Ravens player to come off suspension this year as former fourth-round safety Christian Thompson served a four-game ban to start the season, but the organization elected to waive the 2012 draft pick after he had done very little to impress during the preseason.

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Asa Jackson not letting pending suspension get in way of solid play on field

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Asa Jackson not letting pending suspension get in way of solid play on field

Posted on 16 August 2013 by WNST Audio

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Ravens cornerback Jackson receives 8-game suspension for PED violation

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Ravens cornerback Jackson receives 8-game suspension for PED violation

Posted on 02 August 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Having already served a four-game suspension at the end of last season, Ravens cornerback Asa Jackson has been suspended for the first eight games of the 2013 season, the NFL announced Friday.

Jackson was suspended for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs just as he was late last season when he was forced to sit out the final month of the regular season. Reports indicated the Cal Poly product was suspended each time for testing positive for Adderall, a prescription drug typically used to treat ADHD.

“You’ve got to follow the rules,” coach John Harbaugh said. “You don’t follow the rules, you get suspended. That’s a fair rule. There’s really no place for that, and he’s getting what he deserves. We’ll be missing Asa for the first eight weeks. Whether he’ll be back after that, time will tell.”

Far from a sure thing to make the 53-man roster this year after being selected in the fifth round of the 2012 draft, Jackson played in three games last year while serving in a special-teams capacity. Jackson will not count against the 53-man roster during his suspension, meaning the Ravens will have no logistical reasons keeping him around during the suspension if they elect to do so.

Jackson is competing with veteran cornerback Chris Johnson as well as rookies Marc Anthony and Moe Lee for what you’d expect to be one or two roster spots behind Lardarius Webb, Corey Graham, Jimmy Smith, and Chykie Brown, who are all considered locks for the 53-man squad.

The young defensive back attempted to explain himself via social media Friday evening.

“I know the #ravennation is real disappointed in me right now, but it isn’t what you think,” Jackson wrote on his official Twitter account. “I was prescribed medicine for my ADD, but our team dr [sic] quit and never turned in my paperwork. Although I am responsible for what is in my body, this is just a bad situation that wasnt [sic] really my fault. But I do take responsibility for it, and will face the consequences. Love y’all always and I look forward to ballin [sic] this preseason and when I get back week 9. Stay up.”

In addition to playing corner, Jackson has return skills and special-team abilities as a 5-foot-10, 182-pound speedster.

What does this suspension mean for his future in Baltimore with his second suspension in less than a year?

“It just means he’s out of the picture,” Harbaugh said. “What he needs to do is have a big camp and make us want him back after eight weeks and try to be in position to help us during the second half of the season. That will be a big challenge for him, but we’ve talked about it quite a bit and he’s up for the challenge.”

The 23-year-old cornerback is the second player from last year’s roster to be suspended for the start of the 2013 season as second-year safety Christian Thompson was suspended for four games earlier in the offseason for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Status quo attendance report

Friday’s practice looked much like the previous two days in terms of attendance and participation with only rookie cornerback Marc Anthony returning to action after sitting out Thursday’s session.

Right guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder), linebacker Jameel McClain (neck), offensive linemen Ramon Harewood (knee) and Ryan Jensen (foot), defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore (knee), and tight end Dennis Pitta (hip) did not participate on Friday.

The Ravens’ official Twitter account reported that safety James Ihedigbo appeared to be in pain at the end of Friday’s practice, but it wasn’t serious, according to Harbaugh.

“Anything you saw as far as injury, there was nothing serious,” Harbaugh said. “Everything was minor, so we are in good shape.”

Annapolis, here we come

For the second straight summer, the Ravens will conduct a training camp practice at the Naval Academy in Annapolis at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The session is free and open to the public as the Ravens hold the first of three public practices in an effort to continue to reach fans following the discontinuation of open training camps in Westminster.

“It will be exciting. I think our guys are really looking forward to it,” Harbaugh said. “I’m expecting a full stadium down there in Annapolis. The Naval Academy has just been tremendous hosts. We love going down there.”

Players will receive the day off on Saturday.

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