Tag Archive | "deonte thompson"

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Drug charges dismissed against Ravens wide receiver Thompson

Posted on 12 April 2014 by Luke Jones

Ravens wide receiver Deonte Thompson is no longer facing drug charges stemming from an arrest in Florida in February.

The 25-year-old was arrested in Gainesville on Feb. 22 and charged with felony possession of marijuana and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Thompson was a passenger in a car that was operating without headlights when it was pulled over and he and two friends were arrested and charged after marijuana was found.

According to a report from The Sun, Thompson’s charges were dismissed after Alvon Summerall pleaded guilty to the same charges as well as driving with a suspended license, taking full responsibility for the incident.

Thompson is entering his third season and is not assured of a roster spot after a disappointing 2013 season in which he battled a foot injury and caught only 10 passes for 96 yards.

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Ravens offensive lineman Reid arrested for misdemeanor battery

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Ravens offensive lineman Reid arrested for misdemeanor battery

Posted on 09 March 2014 by Luke Jones

A troubling offseason for the Ravens got worse Sunday as reserve offensive lineman Jah Reid was arrested and charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery in Key West, Fla. early Sunday.

According to the Key West police department, Reid was arrested following an altercation with several others at a bar that escalated when security tried to break up the fight. There is reportedly video evidence of the offensive lineman punching a security guard in the face multiple times.

He was released on $2,000 bond Sunday.

The 25-year-old is the third Baltimore player arrested over the last month, joining running back Ray Rice (simple assault-domestic violence) and wide receiver Deonte Thompson (marijuana possession).

“We have learned of the situation and are gathering information,” Ravens director of public relations Chad Steele said in statement.

The 2011 third-round pick has never lived up to the Ravens’ expectations and appeared in 10 games as a reserve last season. Reid made seven starts at left guard in 2012 before a toe injury ended his season and rookie Kelechi Osemele settled into the position during the postseason run to Super Bowl XLVII.

Reid is likely on the bubble to make the 53-man roster as he enters his fourth season in Baltimore, so this off-field incident won’t do him any favors in how the organization views him moving forward.

 

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Ravens WR/KR Thompson arrested in Florida

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Ravens WR/KR Thompson arrested in Florida

Posted on 22 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Baltimore Ravens WR/KR Deonte Thompson was arrested this weekend in Florida for marijuana possession and possession of paraphernalia according to the Gainesville Police Department.

Here is a recap of the arrest according to the GPD…

14-3518 – DWLSR – Poss. Of Drug Paraphernalia – Poss. Of more than 20gms of cannabis – Warrant arrest: Cpl. M. Walters stopped a vehicle (2014 Chevy rented SUV) for driving without headlights (11:44pm.) Cpl. Walters noticed a strong odor of burned cannabis coming from the vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed a bag containing multiple bags of cannabis, total weight of 29 gms. The driver, Alvon J. Summerall B/M 11/21/90, said that the cannabis was his. Summerall was also found to be driving on a revoked DL and had an active warrant out of Orange County, Florida for possession of cannabis with intent to sell. A vehicle passenger, Erskine J. McKinley B/M 09/27/89, also said that the cannabis was his and a third passenger, Deonte’ A. Thompson B/M 02/14/89, said the duffle bag containing the cannabis was his but denied ownership of the cannabis. DOJ X 3.

Thompson has been with the Ravens since 2012 after a solid career at the University of Florida, earning a Super Bowl ring in his rookie season. He made 10 catches in seven games in 2013 and returned seven kickoffs for 201 yards.

Thompson’s roster spot was already far from guaranteed going into the 2014 season and is certainly even more at risk following the arrest. The Ravens are particularly thin at both positions however, as Jacoby Jones is an unrestricted free agent and Tandon Doss is a restricted free agent. Veteran receiver Brandon Stokley announced he would retire at the end of last season, meaning Torrey Smith and Marlon Brown are the only other receivers on the roster who have made a catch in the NFL.

The Ravens are aware of the situation and offered the following statement Saturday night:

“We’re aware of the situation. We are gathering more facts. There are two sides to every story.”

Thompson’s arrest comes just one week after Ravens RB Ray Rice was arrested in Atlantic City for simple assault due to a domestic violence incident. That case remains open, neither the league nor the team has taken action yet.

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Ravens-Bengals: Five predictions for Sunday

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Ravens-Bengals: Five predictions for Sunday

Posted on 09 November 2013 by Luke Jones

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

Off to their worst start since the 2005 season, the 3-5 Ravens have never been in such a position in the John Harbaugh era as they meet the division-leading Cincinnati Bengals for the 35th time in franchise history.

Hoping their return to M&T Bank Stadium for the first time in nearly a month will snap a three-game losing streak, the Ravens trail the Bengals by 2 1/2 games in the AFC North and will see their playoff hopes on life support if they drop their third consecutive division game. However, Baltimore has won four of the last five meetings with Cincinnati as the Bengals are still chasing consistency with a talented and deep roster.

The Ravens listed five players as questionable on the final injury report of the week — four of them key defensive players — while Cincinnati will be without inside linebacker Rey Maualuga and will be playing its first game since the season-ending ACL injury suffered by Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins in Week 9.

It’s time to go on the record as the Ravens lead the all-time series with Cincinnati by a 19-15 margin and are 12-5 in Baltimore. Under Harbaugh, the Ravens are 6-4 against the Bengals, which includes a 4-1 record at M&T Bank Stadium.

Here’s what to expect as the Ravens try to win their first game since Oct. 6 and move closer toward the .500 mark to begin the second half of the season …

1. Underused wide receiver Deonte Thompson will catch the first touchdown of his career. Offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell’s use of Thompson has been perplexing as the second-year wideout has been effective whenever afforded opportunities and has caught just over 64 percent of attempts on which he’s been targeted (nine of 14), the highest success rate of any wide receiver or tight end on the roster. Flacco has struggled in the vertical passing game this season, which was understandable early in the year, but the returns of Jacoby Jones and Thompson have given the Ravens adequate speed to complement No. 1 receiver Torrey Smith. It’s difficult to envision the offense being fixed due to an ineffective offensive line and an inadequate number of consistent weapons, but the Ravens need to throw caution to the wind in taking more deep shots. With Smith once again receiving the most attention, Thompson will slip free for a long score.

2. The absence of Atkins will not be an elixir for the Ravens’ inept running game. It’s true that the Cincinnati defense is more vulnerable after its recent rash of injuries, but the Baltimore running game has been effective for only 30 minutes — the second half of the Miami game in Week 5 — of the 480 total played this year. A poor offensive line is undersized at center and left guard and Ray Rice once again showed a lack of explosiveness last week in Cleveland despite his claims of finally being 100 percent healthy. Caldwell will likely explore further use of the pistol formation to give the Ravens more options in running the ball while working out of a three-wide, shotgun spread formation extensively, but expecting the Ravens to suddenly start running the ball effectively is based on hopes and dreams and nothing about their performance this season. It’s only common sense to assume the Ravens will average under 3.0 yards per carry and accumulate no more 70 or 80 rushing yards until they show otherwise.

3. A banged-up secondary won’t be able to handle the many Bengals weapons, allowing quarterback Andy Dalton to throw for two touchdowns and 250-plus yards. Everyone knows how dangerous Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green is, but the emergence of fellow wide receiver Marvin Jones spells bad news for a secondary listing Jimmy Smith, Corey Graham, and James Ihedigbo as questionable for Sunday’s game. The Ravens’ 14th-ranked pass defense has been vulnerable to missed tackles and big plays, which doesn’t bode well against an offense with talented pass-catching options at receiver, tight end, and in the backfield with rookie Giovani Bernard. Cornerback Lardarius Webb will do a respectable job against Green when the Ravens shade safety help in his direction, but there isn’t enough quality coverage to go around in shutting down the league’s seventh-ranked passing attack, meaning the Ravens must pressure Dalton heavily to give themselves a good chance.

4. Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth will have another shutdown effort against linebacker Terrell Suggs. Browns tackle Joe Thomas receives all the accolades while Whitworth just made his first Pro Bowl last season, but the Bengals lineman has arguably given Suggs more trouble than any other blocker in his 11-year career. Of Suggs’ 7 1/2 career sacks against Cincinnati, only 2 1/2 have come since 2006 when Whitworth was drafted in the second round out of LSU. Without Whitworth playing in their last game, the Bengals gave up five sacks and Dalton turned the ball over four times as he was harassed all night. The Ravens will win on Sunday if they can repeat Miami’s performance in forcing the bad Dalton to come out, but that pressure will need to come from defenders who aren’t lined up against the Bengals left tackle. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees will try to move Suggs around a bit, but big performances will need to come from Elvis Dumervil, Arthur Jones, and others.

5. With their backs against the wall even more than they were last week in Cleveland, the Ravens will fall short once again in a 27-20 final. In the history of the Harbaugh era, the Ravens have been able to rise to the occasion when they’ve needed it most in the regular season. Meanwhile, the Bengals have had success over the last couple years but still fight the trap of reverting to the “Bungles” from time to time. It might not be a must-win game for the Ravens in terms of the mathematics of the playoff race, but falling to 3-6 virtually ends their playoff hopes with five of their final seven games coming against teams with winning records. Those trends would lead you to believe the Ravens will find a way to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against a team with more talent, but “that was then, this is now” as author S.E. Hinton would say. A familiar script of a slow start offensively coupled with a solid defensive effort void of game-changing plays will lead to another close defeat for the Ravens.

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Dolphins

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Dolphins

Posted on 08 October 2013 by Glenn Clark

Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”

It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.

This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 26-23 win over the Miami Dolphins Sunday at SunLife Stadium…

(Note: not all pictures are always of actual play)

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Haloti Ngata/Josh Bynes tackle Lamar Miller for no gain on 3rd & 1 (1st quarter)

4. Torrey Smith 22 yard catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 10 (3rd quarter)

3. Tandon Doss catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 2 (4th quarter)

2. Joe Flacco 14 yard run on 3rd & 5 (3rd quarter)

1. Elvis Dumervil sacks Ryan Tannehill at Ravens’ 39 (4th quarter)

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Ravens-Dolphins: Inactives and pre-game notes

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Ravens-Dolphins: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 06 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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

Hoping to win their first road game of the 2013 season, the Ravens look to put the bad taste of last week’s loss in Buffalo behind them as they take on the 3-1 Miami Dolphins.

However, they’ll have to do it while being severely undermanned at the wide receiver position as Jacoby Jones (knee) and Marlon Brown (hamstring) were both ruled inactive for Sunday’s game. It wasn’t surprising to see Jones held back for another week after just returning to the practice field from an MCL sprain that’s sidelined him since the season opener, but Brown appeared to be moving well during Friday’s practice and told reporters he was feeling good after the workout.

Couple those inactives with Saturday’s release of veteran wideout Brandon Stokley and the Ravens were down to just three active wide receivers on Sunday as Torrey Smith, Deonte Thompson, and Tandon Doss are available. Thompson sustained a concussion in the Week 4 loss in Buffalo but was cleared over the weekend to make his return.

The Ravens also decided to deactivate newly-acquired left tackle Eugene Monroe after only two days of practice time in Owings Mills. It was always going to be a major stretch for the fifth-year lineman to absorb enough of the playbook to be able to start against the Dolphins, but coach John Harbaugh had left the door open for the former Jaguars lineman to play in Miami if he felt comfortable enough with his preparation over the weekend.

This means veteran left tackle Bryant McKinnie will start against a Dolphins defensive front that will include returning defensive end Cameron Wake, who was out last week with a knee injury.

The good news for the Ravens is that cornerback Lardarius Webb is active after missing most of last week’s game against the Bills after tweaking his hamstring in the first half. Rookie linebacker Arthur Brown (pectoral strain) is also active and will make his return following a two-week absence due to injury, which should help the Baltimore pass defense.

The Ravens are 3-5 in the all-time regular-season series with the Dolphins and are 1-4 in Miami, which doesn’t include their two postseason wins at Sun Life Stadium. Baltimore won the last meeting between these teams in 2010, a 26-10 final at M&T Bank Stadium.

The referee for Sunday’s game will be Carl Cheffers.

The forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-80s with a slight chance of isolated thunderstorms in Miami.

The Ravens will be wearing purple jerseys with white pants while Miami will go with an all-white look for Sunday’s game.

Here are Sunday’s inactives:

BALTIMORE

WR Jacoby Jones

WR Marlon Brown

T Eugene Monroe

NT Terrence Cody

OL Jah Reid

C Ryan Jensen

DE Marcus Spears

MIAMI

QB Pat Devlin

RB Mike Gillislee

CB Dimitri Patterson

CB Will Davis

LB Josh Kaddu

G Danny Watkins

G Dallas Thomas.

Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the afternoon for updates and analysis as Nestor Aparicio brings live coverage from Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

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Webb, J. Jones, seven others listed as questionable against Dolphins

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Webb, J. Jones, seven others listed as questionable against Dolphins

Posted on 04 October 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. — The Ravens were making final preparations for the Miami Dolphins on Friday and listed a total of nine players as questionable on the final injury report of the week including cornerback Lardarius Webb and wide receiver Jacoby Jones.

Webb and wide receivers Deonte Thompson and Marlon Brown were listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report after they missed practices on Wednesday and Thursday while recovering from injuries sustained last Sunday, but they all worked on a limited basis in the final full workout of the week. Webb sat out the second half against the Bills after suffering a hamstring injury but was doing some backpedal work and riding the stationary bike during the portion of practice open to media.

“Very encouraging [to have them back at practice],” coach John Harbaugh said. “It was good to see those guys out there, and [it] made for a better practice, too.”

Also dealing with a hamstring injury all week, Brown was doing plenty of running and appeared to be moving well during the special-teams part of practice. The rookie wideout said he felt good with the hamstring following Friday’s practice.

Jones (knee) was present and working for the third straight day of practice after being sidelined since Sept. 5 with a right MCL sprain, but the Pro Bowl return specialist was noncommital regarding his status against the Dolphins.

“I don’t know. I’ll leave it up to the trainers and the coaches,” Jones said. “You’re trying to get me in trouble with John Harbaugh — I can’t answer that question. I’m trying to ease the process [of coming back].”

Thompson was on the field for the first time since sustaining a concussion in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s game, but he was suited up and participating during the special-teams portion of practice. Harbaugh said after practice that Thompson had passed the concussion protocol test, but he hadn’t yet been fully cleared for Sunday’s game.

“He’s got to go through the practice,” Harbaugh said. “Then, we’ve got to check his symptoms out.”

In addition to those four, wide receiver Brandon Stokley, linebackers Arthur Brown and Albert McClellan, defensive lineman Marcus Spears, and running back Shaun Draughn were all designated as questionable to play in Sunday’s game.

The Ravens were without five players during the opening portion of Friday’s workout as Stokley (groin), Spears (knee), McClellan (shoulder), defensive tackle Terrence Cody (knee), and offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (foot) weren’t participating. Stokley had practiced on a limited basis all week after being inactive for Week 4, and Spears appeared on the injury report for the first time on Thursday after he walked off the field gingerly at the start of practice.

Cody and Jensen were both listed as doubtful on the Friday injury report and aren’t expected to play in Miami.

The Dolphins listed standout defensive end Cameron Wake (knee) as questionable for Sunday’s game after he practiced on a limited basis all week. Former Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (knee) is probable against his former team.

As for the status of newly-acquired left tackle Eugene Monroe, Harbaugh said they haven’t made any decision in terms of his availability to play against the Dolphins. The 26-year-old stayed at the team’s Owings Mills facility late into the night on Thursday to work with the offensive line staff in hopes of getting up to speed as soon as possible, according to Harbaugh.

“The main thing is how he feels about it, if he feels confident that he can execute,” said Harbaugh, who acknowledged not being sure what the realistic timetable is to get Monroe on the field for the Ravens. “The good thing is he know what it’s like to play. If he gives us feedback, and he says he’s comfortable and can go, I would think we’d be very confident that he knows what he’s talking about.”

An encouraging sign for the Ravens during Friday’s practice was the presence of Dennis Pitta, who was catching passes from the Jugs machine. The fourth-year tight end was dressed in a T-shirt and shorts and was able to twist his body as he caught passes from the machine, but he did not do any jogging or running during the session.

Pitta remains on injured reserve with the designation to return, making him eligible to return to practice after the first six weeks of the regular season and to play in games after eight weeks. However, it is not believed that Pitta would be able to return until later in the season after he dislocated his hip on July 27, an injury that forced him to undergo immediate surgery.

“I’m pretty impressed,” Harbaugh said. “He’s running quite a bit on these machines, and he’s out here catching passes. [A potential return] is a ways away, time-wise. Every time I see Dennis, I guess I have mixed emotions. I’m happy that he’s doing well, and I’m not happy that he’s not already out there playing right now. He’s doing a good job.”

The referee for Sunday’s game between the Ravens and Dolphins will be Carl Cheffers.

The forecast in Miami calls for temperatures in the mid-80s with a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms.

Here’s the final injury report of the week:

BALTIMORE
DOUBTFUL: DT Terrence Cody (knee), C Ryan Jensen (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Arthur Brown (shoulder), WR Marlon Brown (thigh), RB Shaun Draughn (ankle), WR Jacoby Jones (knee), LB Albert McClellan (shoulder), DT Marcus Spears (knee), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh), WR Deonte Thompson (concussion), CB Lardarius Webb (thigh)

MIAMI
OUT: CB Dimitri Patterson (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Brandon Gibson (ankle), S Don Jones (elbow), LB Jason Trusnik (rib), DE Cameron Wake (knee)
PROBABLE: CB Nolan Carroll (ankle), S Chris Clemons (glute), LB Dannell Ellerbe (knee), LB Jonathan Freeney (shoulder), LB Koa Misi (shoulder), DT Paul Soliai (knee)

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J. Jones returns to practice; Webb, M. Brown absent on Wednesday

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J. Jones returns to practice; Webb, M. Brown absent on Wednesday

Posted on 02 October 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. — Sidelined since the season opener with an MCL sprain of his right knee, Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones returned to the practice field on Wednesday for the first time in nearly a month.

The 29-year-old practiced on a limited basis as he took part in his first workout since suffering the knee injury against the Denver Broncos in Week 1. It remains unclear whether Jones will be ready to return to game action this weekend as the Ravens travel to Miami to take on the 3-1 Dolphins, but it’s another step in regaining a valuable piece of the team’s offensive puzzle.

“Having more guys available is going to impact everybody’s number of snaps,” said coach John Harbaugh when asked how Jones’ return might affect the playing time of rookie Marlon Brown and other younger receivers. “Hopefully, we can use all those guys in really positive ways and improve our offense.”

Wide receiver Brandon Stokley (groin) practiced in a limited capacity after missing Sunday’s game in Buffalo, but Brown (hamstring) and second-year receiver Deonte Thompson (concussion) were non-participants on Wednesday. Harbaugh provided a favorable report on all three players Monday, so it’s believed that Brown and Thompson have a reasonable chance of playing in Week 5 if they can log some practice time before week’s end.

Cornerback Lardarius Webb (hamstring), linebacker Albert McClellan (shoulder), defensive tackle Terrence Cody (knee), and offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (foot) did not participate in Wednesday’s practice.

Less than 24 hours after news broke of the Ravens’ trade for Jacksonville left tackle Eugene Monroe in exchange for fourth- and fifth-round picks, incumbent tackle Bryant McKinnie was practicing despite a report from The Sun of the organization potentially seeking a trade of the 34-year-old lineman. The trade for Monroe hadn’t officially been completed for the 26-year-old to practice on Wednesday, leaving his status against Miami up in the air.

“We’ll see as we go. Obviously, we’re bringing Eugene in to play,” Harbaugh said. “How soon that can happen remains to be seen. The main thing is it makes us better.”

As expected, safety Jeromy Miles (hamstring) and rookie inside linebacker Arthur Brown (pectoral strain) were both present and working during Wednesday’s practice. Both participated in all practices last week but were ruled inactive in the loss to Buffalo.

For the Miami Dolphins, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (knee) and defensive end Cameron Wake (knee) were limited participants. Wake did not play in the Dolphins’ Week 4 loss to New Orleans and is regarded as one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.

Here is Wednesday’s injury report:

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR Marlon Brown (thigh), DT Terrence Cody (knee), C Ryan Jensen (foot), LB Albert McClellan (shoulder), WR Deonte Thompson (head), CB Lardarius Webb (thigh)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Brandon Stokley (thigh), LB Arthur Brown (shoulder), RB Shaun Draughn (ankle), WR Jacoby Jones (knee)

MIAMI
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: S Don Jones (elbow), CB Dimitri Patterson (elbow), LB Jason Trusnik (rib)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: CB Nolan Carroll (ankle), S Chris Clemons (glute), LB Dannell Ellerbe (knee), WR Brandon Gibson (ankle), LB Koa Misi (shoulder), DE Cameron Wake (knee)
FULL PARTICIPATION: LB Jonathan Freeney (shoulder), DT Paul Soliai (knee)

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Webb, D. Thompson leave Sunday’s loss with injuries

Posted on 30 September 2013 by Luke Jones

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

The sting of a 23-20 loss to the Bills wasn’t the only pain the Ravens endured Sunday as cornerback Lardarius Webb and wide receiver Deonte Thompson each left the game with injuries.

Webb suffered what was described as a thigh injury, and coach John Harbaugh said they will know more about its severity on Monday. He left the game in the first half but was able to run and backpedal on the sideline, indicating that it shouldn’t keep him out for an extended period of time despite being held out for the remainder of the afternoon.

Making his 2013 debut, Thompson performed well offensively as he caught four passes for 50 yards on five targets from quarterback Joe Flacco. However, the second-year wideout suffered a concussion while making a 33-yard reception in the fourth quarter when Bills safety Jim Leonhard was flagged for hitting a defenseless receiver.

It was Thompson’s first action since spraining his foot in the preseason opener on Aug. 8.

Linebacker Albert McClellan injured his shoulder and will undergo magnetic resonance imaging testing on Monday. He underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason.

Wide receiver Marlon Brown was dealing with a thigh injury at the end of the game, according to Harbaugh.

The good news for the Ravens was the ability of running back Ray Rice to make it through Sunday’s game without aggravating the left hip flexor strain that kept him sidelined in Week 3. Rice was held to just 17 yards on five carries against the Bills.

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Ravens prepared to contain Bills’ Manuel, read option

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Ravens prepared to contain Bills’ Manuel, read option

Posted on 26 September 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. — The Ravens spent time throughout the offseason preparing to stop the read option after the offensive attack took the league by storm during the 2012 season.

According to defensive coordinator Dean Pees, the Ravens spent every other day during organized team activities and training camp completing a read-option period during practices to prepare themselves for matchups like Sunday when they travel to Buffalo to take on rookie quarterback EJ Manuel and standout running back C.J. Spiller. Under new head coach Doug Marrone, the Bills’ have used the read option at points during their first three games, giving the Ravens their first look at the wide-open rushing attack since facing San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII last February.

“You enjoy a challenge. If you’re a football player, you don’t want the same thing every week,” linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “You want a little different [offense], and we love that we get the opportunity again to play against one of these up-and-coming quarterbacks [and] dual threat like EJ Manuel. It’s going to be a challenge.”

The Bills’ version of the read option appears to be working well on the surface with their rushing attack ranked fifth in the NFL, but the transition has been a work in progress as Manuel and Spiller haven’t always made proper reads and the offensive line’s blocking has been suspect. Of particular concern is Spilller, who is averaging just 3.6 yards per carry after averaging an astonishing 6.0 yards per rushing attempt a year ago.

Fortunately for Buffalo, backup Fred Jackson has picked up the slack by running for 169 yards on 32 carries, making him another dangerous weapon to watch for when the Bills try to run the read option. Patience and following one’s assignment is the key to slowing the novelty offense that hasn’t found the same success this season around the league as it did last year.

“Have good eyes,” said Pees, who credited mobile backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor for giving the Ravens a good look in practices. “That’s the No. 1 thing. When you’re playing any kind of option team, when you start looking at things you shouldn’t look at, that’s when you get beat. If I’ve got the quarterback, my eyes have got to be on the quarterback. It’s a little bit like in coverage. Most of the time when a guy gets beat in coverage, it’s because of the eyes.”

Manuel was sacked an astonishing eight times in the Bills’ loss to the Jets last Sunday, so the Ravens will be licking their chops to make life miserable for the rookie quarterback. However, pocket containment will be vitally important as Manuel is a bigger threat to take off and run compared to the three starting quarterbacks the Ravens have faced so far this season.

The Florida State product has carried 13 times for 76 yards in three games, but the Ravens rank sixth in the league with 11 sacks.

“You just definitely have to make sure we can contain him every time,” linebacker Daryl Smith said. “If whoever is coming off the edge, whether it’s an end or linebacker, if they take the inside move, the quarterback definitely can escape and has the speed to get out and get the first down or do whatever he wants to do. We’ve been talking about it this week and definitely have a plan to make sure we always have edges on the defense.”

Looking for improvement from McKinnie

After appearing to be laboring during Wednesday’s practice, left tackle Bryant McKinnie appeared more active and mobile a day later as the Ravens hope to see improvement from the 34-year-old veteran.

The entire offensive line has struggled to block in the running game — an area that’s never been McKinnie’s biggest strength — but the left tackle has struggled in pass protection the last two weeks and was flagged for two facemask penalties in the first half of the win over the Texans.

“There’s always a work in progress in that area, and I think he’s working at it, trying to get better at what he does,” said offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, who emphasized a need for everyone — including him — to improve. “He’s a professional and he’s trying to improve every single day. [Run-game coordinator Juan Castillo] does a great job with those guys. They work and they work extremely hard. I think Juan is getting him to the point where he’s moving in the right direction.”

McKinnie’s three-year tenure in Baltimore has been bumpy to say the least as he didn’t start a game in the regular season last year and reported to training camp overweight this summer and was held out of the first day of practice for veterans.

Thompson in mix as kick returner

With Pro Bowl return specialist Jacoby Jones still sidelined with an MCL injury in his right knee and No. 3 running back Shaun Draughn dealing with a high ankle sprain, the Ravens could have a new face in the return game in Buffalo.

Wide receiver Deonte Thompson has practiced on a limited basis for two straight days and is listed as the Ravens’ backup kickoff returner behind Jones on the depth chart. In his rookie season, the speedy wideout served as the kick returner before a critical fumble against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5.

“Deonte demonstrated a year ago that he has the skills to do that,” said Rosburg, referring to Thompson’s 25.9 yard per return average in 15 attempts. “He’s had success, too, and he understands it. He’d probably be pretty excited about that opportunity should it come his way.”

Should Draughn be inactive, the Ravens would likely turn to either Thompson or fellow wide receiver Tandon Doss, who returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown last week.

Ravens glad Miles now on their side

Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg smiled when asked about the acquisition of former Cincinnati safety Jeromy Miles off waivers earlier this week.

A rookie free agent from the University of Massachusetts in 2010, the fourth-year safety can play in all phases of special teams and would figure to play a prominent role considering rookie safety Brynden Trawick was active for all of the Ravens’ first three games. With Miles serving as a prominent special-teams player in the Bengals’ units, the Ravens were very familiar with him.

“We’ve had to block Jeromy Miles for the last few years,” Rosburg said. “We’ve had him blocking us the last few years. We’re excited he’s on our team doing those things for us, because he’s been a force in our division. We’re really happy he’s on our team.”

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