Tag Archive | "Domonique Foxworth"

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Ravens re-sign LB Burgess, part ways with OL LeVoir

Posted on 18 October 2011 by Luke Jones

With linebacker and special teams contributor Dannell Ellerbe continuing to battle injuries, the Ravens have re-signed special teams standout Prescott Burgess.

The team also announced offensive lineman Mark LeVoir has been waived to clear room on the 53-man roster.

Burgess was cut at the conclusion of the preseason before the Ravens re-signed him after placing cornerback Domonique Foxworth on injured reserve on Sept. 28. The veteran linebacker was then cut during the bye week when the Ravens signed cornerback and return specialist Bryan McCann on Oct. 4.

Ellerbe was inactive for the Ravens’ Week 4 victory over the New York Jets before returning to action against Houston on Sunday. Coach John Harbaugh did not report any new injuries or give an update on Ellerbe following Sunday’s game or during his Monday press conference in Owings Mills.

LeVoir was inactive against the Texans on Sunday and fell out of favor when he struggled playing in place of injured guard Ben Grubbs against the Tennessee Titans in Week 2. LeVoir was inactive the following week against St. Louis and may have only been active against the Jets in Week 4 because the Ravens’ seven inactive players were all missing the game due to injuries.

The former Patriots lineman was signed by the Ravens on Aug. 20 to improve depth, but he became more expendable after Baltimore signed current starting left tackle Bryant McKinnie and five-time Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode, who has started the last three games in place of Grubbs at left guard.

Burgess spent three previous stints with Baltimore and was drafted by the Ravens in the sixth round of the 2007 draft. He led the team in special teams tackles last season.

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Reed holding together battered, youthful Ravens secondary

Posted on 14 October 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens entered the 2011 season with greater depth at cornerback than at any point in recent memory.

Then, they began dropping like flies.

Jimmy Smith and Chris Carr went down in the regular-season opener, neither one of them currently healthy a month later. Domonique Foxworth was placed on injured reserve after his surgically-repaired knee would not cooperate in getting the former starter back on the field.

As a result, Cary Williams and Lardarius Webb — and the four career starts between them entering 2011 — have held down the starting cornerback positions through the quarter pole of the season. And, surprisingly, the Ravens are tied for eighth in pass defense.

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Much credit goes to an improved Baltimore pass rush and a more aggressive approach from new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, but the Ravens can also be thankful for their future Hall of Fame safety and the leadership he’s provided in an otherwise youthful secondary.

A chronic nerve impingement in his neck and shoulder and a hip injury have severely hampered Ed Reed over the last three seasons, but the All-Pro playmaker appears healthier this season after participating in most training camp practices — Reed missed all of training camp and the first six games recovering from hip surgery last season on the physically unable to perform list — and playing a more physical style of football through the season’s first four games.

“Ed’s been really healthy,” coach John Harbaugh said. “He looks great physically. You look at him, he really is in great shape. He’s bulked up a little bit from previous years.”

Reed’s safety blitz on the Ravens’ first defensive play against the Jets two weeks ago led to a sack, fumble, and Jameel McClain’s recovery for a touchdown. It set the tone for 60 minutes of defensive dominance in which Baltimore battered New York quarterback Mark Sanchez and forced four turnovers, leading to a franchise-record three defensive touchdowns in the 34-17 win.

Even without their first-round pick in Smith and Carr’s versatility, the Ravens have received solid play from Williams and Webb, who have benefited from the tutelage of Reed and his 10 years of NFL experience in which he’s made seven Pro Bowls, been named to seven All-Pro teams, and was deemed the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004.

It’s the kind of résumé that makes it impossible not to listen intently when Reed speaks.

“When he sees something [with the opposing offense], you know because he’s made plays like that before,” Williams said. “With his wisdom, it’s much easier for us to get out there and just make plays and fly around.”

With inexperienced cornerbacks already adjusting to a new defensive coordinator, Reed’s knowledge is invaluable, both during practice and in the heat of battle on Sundays.

“He holds us together back there,” Harbaugh said. “We had a play out here [Friday] where we were in a certain coverage and we had young corners out there with him, and they didn’t really know where to go. Ed changed everything in a split second and made everything work. That’s what a guy like that can do for you.”

For a player like Williams, a seventh-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2008 out of Washburn University, the opportunity to work with Reed has enabled him to transition from a fringe member of the 53-man roster to a starter on the league’s third-ranked defense.

“He’s been through everything,” Williams said. “He’s seen a lot of formations. His leadership, just from being a playmaker. He teaches you how to be a pro, both on and off the field. He’s a great leader. He doesn’t get in trouble off the field, and it’s somebody that you want to follow. And, the way he uses his tone, he’s easy to talk to.”

With Reed now 33 years old and approaching the end of his playing days — due to health concerns instead of his overall play — his yearning for a championship is more desperate than ever, knowing this season could be his best last chance to finally lift the Vince Lombardi trophy before calling it a career.

His 17 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, and two interceptions, however, don’t reflect someone so close to retirement.

Reed’s presence has been the glue of a depleted secondary and a major factor why the Ravens have 14 takeaways, second in the AFC.

“It’s just a credit to our guys –- everybody being professional,” Reed said. “The offseason was such a short offseason and buying into what we’re doing around here as an organization. So, that helps, when you’ve got professionals working hard and making plays.”

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Comparisons to 2000 Ravens premature, but this year’s defense could be exceptional

Posted on 06 October 2011 by Luke Jones

We just can’t help ourselves, can we?

After more than a decade of defensive excellence in Baltimore, we always compare the latest eye-popping Ravens defense to the platinum standard of that 2000 unit. It was that group, of course, that lifted a caretaker offense — rookie running back Jamal Lewis being the lone exception — to the franchise’s lone Super Bowl championship.

It was a once-in-a-generation defense, yet we refuse to acknowledge that type of group won’t come along again — even if we say otherwise.

We did it in 2003 when Ray Lewis led a young group of budding defensive stars to the No. 3 overall defensive ranking and an AFC North title.

It happened again in 2006 as the Ravens finished 13-3 and first overall in both points and yardage allowed, something the 2000 group wasn’t able to do.

And the similarities were examined between that championship group and the 2008 defense – ranked second overall behind only the Steelers — coached by Rex Ryan in his final year in Baltimore before taking his antics to the Big Apple.

It sure feels a lot like 2000, doesn’t it?

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It’s not surprising the whispers have already started about the 2011 edition of Ray Lewis and company after a 3-1 start in which the Ravens rank third overall in total defense, third against the run, tied for seventh against the pass, and first in the NFL with 14 takeaways. The pass rush is improved with 11 sacks already after posting a franchise-low 27 in 2010. The Baltimore defense has already set single-game franchise records when it forced seven turnovers against Pittsburgh in Week 1 and scored three defensive touchdowns against the Jets last Sunday night.

But, are we really going to start talking about comparisons to 2000 after only four games?

For the sake of the argument, comparing the two units through the first four games of the season — one small sample deserves another if we’re going to be fair — shows the championship group with the upper hand. The 2000 Ravens allowed fewer yards (996 to 1,138), gave up fewer points (55 to 57), and recorded two shutouts while this year’s defense has yet to post a goose egg for 60 minutes. However, this year’s 14 takeaways trumps the 10 forced by the 2000 group.

Those first four games in 2000 included two of the four largest point totals surrendered by that defense in the regular season, including the 36 scored by Jacksonville in a thrilling 39-36 shootout win in Week 2. This year’s Ravens have faced only one offense currently ranking in the top half of the league (Pittsburgh is ranked 13th), but the 2000 group faced only one top-10 offense (Jacksonville was seventh overall in 2000) through four games.

As fun as it is to draw comparisons between the known and the unknown, the reality is it’s too early to determine where the 2011 defense will even rank among the many good defenses in the 16-year history of the franchise, let alone talk about any potential similarity with one of the greatest units in NFL history. The only link between the two defenses is Ray Lewis, who depends far more on his intellect as a 36-year-old than he had to as a 25-year-old wrecking machine.

Moving beyond the statistics, Chuck Pagano’s 3-4 hybrid defense is far more similar to a Ryan-coached unit than Marvin Lewis’ record-setting defense from 11 years ago. The current unit relies on deception and blitzing to create pressure, disguising its intentions until the last possible minute. Lewis, on the other hand, largely played his 4-3 defense straight up, using a dominating front four that created pressure on the quarterback and a brick wall impenetrable for running backs.

And here is where we get to the largest discrepancy that should end any real discussion between the championship group and this year’s edition.

The secondaries.

Continue >>>

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Yes, Ralph Friedgen DID Tell Me He Burned His Maryland Diploma…

Posted on 30 September 2011 by Glenn Clark

I was as caught off guard as you were Thursday afternoon.

Former University of Maryland Terrapins football coach Ralph Friedgen joined me on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net. My Executive Producer Ryan Chell had reached out to “The Fridge” earlier in the week to coordinate the interview after Baltimore Ravens WR Torrey Smith’s breakout performance against the St. Louis Rams.

Smith had told me in the locker room that while he was hearing criticism from fans and media during Training Camp and the start of the regular season he had reached out to Friedgen. He said Friedgen had helped him stay positive.

With that in mind, I thought it would be nice to chat with Coach Friedgen about Torrey, fellow former Terps WR LaQuan Williams and CB Domonique Foxworth, who the Ravens unfortunately just lost again for the season due to a knee injury.

I had no idea what to expect after I asked Friedgen my first question that wasn’t Ravens related.

Thankfully Patrick Stevens from the Washington Times transcribed the back and forth Thursday evening. You can listen to the entire interview HERE.

Clark: I think the one thing everyone wants to know is what are you up to right now?

Friedgen: Well, right now, I’m sitting on my deck looking over the marsh into the — reading a USA Today.

Clark: Not a bad life.

Friedgen: No, I’m enjoying it very much. I do miss our players. I don’t miss all the other stuff, but I do miss the players. I miss the interaction with them. I miss dealing with them. I’m a little bit surprised I don’t miss all the stuff that goes around.

Clark: Well, you did it —

Friedgen: Forty-three years. I may get back into it. I may have a couple other things that pop up. I may be back, so we’ll see.

Clark: Is it tough for you to watch? Have you sat down and watched any Maryland games or is it tough for you to do that. I know you love the kids, but I also know you’re a Maryland alum, and it’s got to be a little painful.

Friedgen: Well, it’s not painful because I watch it for the kids. I could care less about Maryland. I’ve burned my diploma. I’m flying a Georgia Tech flag right now.

Clark: [laughing] That’s hurtful coach. I don’t want to hear that. I’m a Maryland alum.

Friedgen: Well, they talk about Maryland pride. They didn’t show me a whole lot of Maryland pride, either getting the job or getting fired.

Clark: OK.

Friedgen: I had a unique experience. I couldn’t get the game last week so I had to go to a sports bar to watch it. I never knew all that stuff went on, people cheering for all this stuff. It was a whole new experience. My daughter came down this week. I went fishing with her. I’ve never done these things with my kids. She caught a 28-inch redfish. She was ecstatic. I never experienced some of this stuff. It’s like my whole life has changed. I’m kind of catching up on some things I probably should have done a lot earlier in my life but haven’t been able to do it.

I’m very aware that a number of Maryland fans are worked up about Friedgen’s response. Given everything that has transpired since December 2010 it is hard to blame him for his angst, but certainly difficult to stomach what he had to say.

I’ll let you decide what you think this time.


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Foxworth helps save NFL season, but can’t save his own

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Without the efforts of Domonique Foxworth, there may not have been an NFL season to talk about this year.

However, the veteran cornerback was unable to save his own.

The Ravens placed Foxworth on injured reserve Wednesday, ending his season after it was becoming more apparent the 28-year-old’s recovery from surgery on a torn ACL last year was not progressing quickly enough for the defensive back to contribute in the secondary. Coach John Harbaugh said the Ravens began discussing the possibility a week ago, and Foxworth was included in the discussion.

In the Ravens’ 37-7 win in St. Louis on Sunday, Foxworth was inactive despite having practiced the entire week.

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Foxworth missed the entire 2010 season after tearing the ACL in his right knee at the beginning of training camp on the eve of the first veteran workout in late July. With his heavy involvement in the labor negotiations during the 134-day lockout, Foxworth was unable to devote as much time rehabbing the surgically-repaired knee as a player might have in a regular offseason. His inability to have any contact with the Ravens organization during the work stoppage also impacted his slow recovery.

“There was a chance he could [have been] able to play at some point in time and help us,” Harbaugh said. “We were holding out hope that was the case, but it was moving in the other direction, for whatever reason. So, we just didn’t feel like we could afford to do that right now, especially needing a linebacker.”

The Ravens re-signed linebacker Prescott Burgess to take Foxworth’s place on the 53-man roster.

With Foxworth out for the season and rookie Jimmy Smith still sidelined with a high ankle sprain, the Ravens would like to have another healthy cornerback on the roster if a quality one were available. Baltimore promoted defensive back Danny Gorrer from the practice squad the day before a Week 2 meeting with Tennessee, largely because of the Ravens’ lack of confidence in rookie Chykie Brown at this stage in his career.

Fortunately, veteran Chris Carr returned to action against the Rams after dealing with a hamstring injury for nearly a month and a half.

“We’d probably like to have at least one more corner that is healthy, but we don’t have that luxury right now,” Harbaugh said. “It’s definitely [something] we could address, just depending on what’s available out htere, but I’m comfortable with the guys we have.”

For Foxworth, Wednesday’s news ends a bitterly disappointing season and brings an uncertain future with a large salary cap number for the 2012 season — reportedly upwards of $8 million — after missing nearly two whole seasons of football.

“We’re with him,” said cornerback Lardarius Webb, who had his own ACL injury late in the 2009 season. “We’re going to talk to him. I know he didn’t want to go on IR; he wanted to be here with the team. Certain things, he has to go through. As a teammate, I just want to be there for him.”

Suggs ‘can’t wait’ for Jets

In what has nearly become an absolute whenever the Ravens play a marquee opponent, Terrell Suggs has a great sound byte or even sports a t-shirt to grab the opposition’s attention.

The Pro Bowl linebacker showed up for Wednesday’s podium session wearing the following t-shirt as an ode to Jets and former Ravens linebacker Bart Scott famous ‘Can’t Wait!’ rant following New York’s playoff victory in New England last season.


However, instead of being a move to incite his former teammate, it turns out the t-shirt was sent by Scott to several former teammates as a way to raise funds for paralyzed Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand. Scott ordered t-shirts in both Jets green and Ravens purple in an effort to raise $36,000 for LeGrand.

Putting aside a very worth cause, Suggs was proud to wear the t-shirt and said he couldn’t wait to meet his old teammate and “former mentor” on the field Sunday night. Suggs wasn’t ready to place the rivalry with the Jets on the same level as the one with Pittsburgh, but he admitted it’s not as good-natured as some players and coaches try to make it out to be.

“It’s not as friendly as you think, because come Sunday night, Rex [Ryan] is going to try to beat us,” Suggs said. “Bart is going to try to get after us. It’s going to be the same. It’s going to be a little different [than the Steelers] because it’s a little personal, because they once were here.”

Lewis still not sold on Jets’ success

Linebacker Ray Lewis made it no secret how unimpressed he was with the New York Jets prior to last season’s meeting in the regular-season opener, saying they were overhyped despite the media wanting to crown them champions before the season started.

When asked how he felt a year later after the Jets made their second straight appearance in the conference championship game — and how Ryan had mentioned that in his conference call with the Baltimore media — the 36-year-old leader offered comments similar to the ones made a year ago.

“He was sitting [in] the same place I was sitting, watching the Super Bowl,” Lewis said. “He had to be, because he wasn’t it it. That’s the only thing  you can ever talk about. I don’t care how far you go, the ultimate goal is to feel that confetti drop. You can ask the Pittsburgh Steelers. They wouldn’t be proud to go back to a Super Bowl. The bottom line is you have to win a Super Bowl when you get there.”

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from John Harbaugh, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Andre Gurode, Haruki Nakamura, Lee Evans, Lardarius Webb, Jarret Johnson, and Prescott Burgess prior to Wednesday’s practice.

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Ravens place CB Foxworth on IR, ending his season

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens have placed cornerback Domonique Foxworth on injured reserve, ending his season after the veteran was unable to regain the form he enjoyed before a torn ACL ended his 2010 season.

Foxworth had struggled to rehabilitate his surgically-repaired knee despite hitting the practice field at the start of training camp in late July. The Ravens could have elected to place Foxworth on the active physically unable to perform list to begin camp and would have had the option to place him on the reserve PUP list, where he would have missed the first six weeks of the regular season while opening a spot on the 53-man roster. Instead, Foxworth attempted to push through the pain and clearly looked overmatched when going against opposing receivers.

The 28-year-old was inactive against St. Louis on Sunday despite practicing throughout the week leading up to the game. Coach John Harbaugh said last Monday that Foxworth would not play if he was unable to perform at a level needed to help the Baltimore defense.

In a subsequent move, the Ravens have re-signed linebacker Prescott Burgess to add depth at linebacker and to boost the special teams’ units.

The loss of Foxworth leaves the Ravens even thinner at cornerback with rookie Jimmy Smith still sidelined with a high ankle sprain. Veteran Chris Carr returned to action on Sunday after dealing with a hamstring injury for over a month.

Burgess returns for his third stint with the Ravens after he was cut at the end of the preseason on Sept. 3.

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Ravens safety Nakamura to miss “month or so” with PCL injury

Posted on 26 September 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Nearly everything went right for the Baltimore Ravens in their 37-7 demolition of the St. Louis Rams on Sunday except for another blow to an already-depleted secondary.

Backup safety Haruki Nakamura injured the PCL in his right knee during the first quarter of action in St. Louis and did not return. Results of an MRI were not available when head coach John Harbaugh addressed the media on Monday afternoon, but the team is optimistic about the versatile defensive back’s prognosis.

“It looks promising in terms of him being able to come back [in] maybe a month or so,” Harbaugh said.

The Ravens will discuss the possibility of adding another safety, but Harbaugh mentioned the versatility of cornerback Chris Carr as well as starting corner Lardarius Webb, who are both capable of playing safety. Nakamura has been an invaluable member of the secondary with Carr, Jimmy Smith, and Domonique Foxworth battling injuries at the start of the season. The fourth-year safety has played as the nickel on a number of occasions when a fifth defensive back comes on the field in passing situations.

Harbaugh was unsure of the status of Foxworth and wide receiver Lee Evans for this week’s game against the Jets. Foxworth was inactive despite practicing all week as he continues to work his knee back to full health while Evans was ruled out for Sunday’s game with a lingering ankle injury.

“We’ll just have to see how it goes this week and see where they’re at,” Harbaugh said. “[We’ll] probably watch and see if they can practice or not. If they go out and practice, how does it respond the next day? We’ll just have to see.”

Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury and is considered day to day, and the team will see how he fares this week before making a decision on his status for the Jets.

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Ravens-Rams inactives for Sunday

Posted on 25 September 2011 by Luke Jones

***For inactives and breaking news sent directly to your mobile device, subscribe to the WNST Text Service right here. And, as always, for the quickest updates and analysis regarding everything purple, follow WNST on Twitter.***

The Ravens will try to jump-start an offense that stalled last week against Tennessee, but they’ll be without two key offensive starters while trying to do it.

Starting left guard Ben Grubbs will miss his second consecutive game after failing to practice all week while trying to recover from a right toe injury. There had been cautious optimism that Grubbs might try to play after being listed as questionable — he was doubtful against the Titans — but the fifth-year lineman has not practiced since the Ravens’ season-opening win against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 11. With offensive lineman Mark LeVoir also inactive, veteran Andre Gurode will make the start at left guard.

Wide receiver Lee Evans (ankle) was ruled out on Friday along with cornerback Jimmy Smith (ankle) and return specialist David Reed (shoulder). Evans has battled a left ankle injury since the Ravens’ win over the Redskins in the third preseason game last month. With Evans out, Baltimore will rely on rookies Torrey Smith, LaQuan Williams, and Tandon Doss — who is active for the first time this season — to pick up the slack in the passing game.

The Ravens have also deactivated cornerback Domonique Foxworth in a surprising move reflecting John Harbaugh’s comments made earlier in the week that they’d have to contemplate sitting down Evans and Foxworth until their health improved to the point that they could better help the team. The decision to sit Foxworth puts more pressure on the returning Chris Carr, who sat out the Titans game with a hamstring injury and has dealt with the ailment since training camp. Cornerbacks Danny Gorrer and Chykie Brown are both active.

Linebacker Sergio Kindle is inactive for the third straight game and has yet to play a snap this season.

For St. Louis, running back Steven Jackson (quad) is active and will play despite being a limited participant in practice on Thursday and Friday. Backup running back Cadillac Williams (hamstring) is also active against the Ravens.

CB Domonique Foxworth
G Ben Grubbs
OL Mark LeVoir
LB Sergio Kindle
WR Lee Evans
CB Jimmy Smith
WR David Reed

St. Louis
WR Danny Amendola
S Jermale Hines
RB Quinn Porter
LB Jabara Williams
TE Stephen Spach
WR Greg Salas
DE C.J. Ah You

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Injury bug continuing to bite Ravens in first two weeks

Posted on 19 September 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — As if a shocking 26-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans wasn’t painful enough, the Ravens continue to be slammed by the injury bug over the first two weeks of the regular season.

A week after serving a one-game suspension for the season opener, return specialist and wide receiver David Reed suffered a shoulder injury and will be out until after the Ravens’ bye week. The second-year player returned a kickoff 77 yards in the second quarter before injuring the AC joint in his left shoulder.

Reed had an MRI on Monday and could be sidelined for three to six weeks.

“Probably three weeks, I would say,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I don’t know. I’m not a doctor, but I play one in press conferences, right? That’s what [the timetable] normally is.”

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Though Reed failed to record a catch in Sunday’s loss to the Titans, his presence in the passing game will be missed with the continuing struggles of veteran Lee Evans, who continues to deal with a left ankle injury that began affecting him after the third preseason game in August. Evans lacked explosion in running routes for the second consecutive week and was seen icing his ankle in the locker room following Sunday’s loss.

Acquired for his ability to stretch opposing defenses and create more explosive plays in the vertical passing game, it’s unlikely defenses will respect his routes if not 100 percent. Evans’ ankle is impacting the Ravens’ ability to diversify a passing game that was far too one-dimensional a season ago.

“There’s no doubt about it,” Harbaugh said. “It’s affecting him, and we’re going to have to take a hard look at that. If he can do the things we need him to do, he plays. If he can’t, he won’t play. We’ve been nursing this thing for a month, and I don’t see it getting a lot better.”

The situation becomes even gloomier with Reed’s injury and rookie Torrey Smith’s failure to make any impact in his first two NFL games. With Evans less than 100 percent and Reed out for the foreseeable future, rookie Tandon Doss is in line to receive his first action after being inactive through the first two weeks. However, the Ravens may find themselves taking a peek at the free-agent market for veteran help if the young receivers fail to step up immediately.

In Harbaugh’s Monday press conference, he also acknowledged — without being posed the question specifically — the continued trials of cornerback Domonique Foxworth, who continues to work his surgically-repaired right knee back to full health. The seventh-year veteran has given far too much cushion when pressed into duty and surrendered a short touchdown pass to Kenny Britt in the second quarter on Sunday.

“It’s definitely showing up in the way he’s playing,” Harbaugh said. “He’s playing very, very conservatively. He knows, we all know, we just have to get that [knee] right if that’s what it is.”

Confirming what many have speculated with both veterans not playing at 100 percent, Harbaugh acknowledged the possibility of Evans and Foxworth potentially being rested to aid in their rehabilitation in hopes of receiving better contributions as the season progresses.

The catch is the Ravens’ current lack of depth at cornerback and wide receiver due to injuries to defensive backs Jimmy Smith and Chris Carr and Reed’s shoulder injury. Whatever the case, it’s clear Harbaugh is not satisfied with what he’s seeing from Evans and Foxworth.

“If they can’t play the kind of football we need them to play — because they’re injured, no fault of theirs, these guys are gutting it out — then they’re going to have to sit for awhile and get healthy, and we’ll just have to see how that goes this week.”

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear Harbaugh’s Monday post-game press conference in its entirety right here.

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Ravens rule out Carr, J. Smith; Grubbs doubtful for Sunday

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Ravens rule out Carr, J. Smith; Grubbs doubtful for Sunday

Posted on 16 September 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Despite optimism regarding the treatment and rehabilitation he received for his injured toe on Friday, it appears Ben Grubbs will be unavailable to the Ravens on Sunday.

The starting left guard missed his third straight practice on Friday and is listed as doubtful for the Ravens’ Week 2 matchup with the Tennessee Titans. Earlier in the day, coach John Harbaugh labeled Grubbs as a game-time decision, but it’s likely the fifth-year lineman will miss the first game of his NFL career.

“Even though it’s a small part of your body, it’s a huge part in running around, pushing off, and blocking, especially for my position,” Grubbs said prior to the release of Friday’s injury report. “It’s my first time experiencing this, so I don’t really know what to expect. You just hope that, God willing, I’ll be able to play.”

Veteran backup center Andre Gurode will likely start in Grubbs’ place at left guard. The 10th-year veteran started 28 games at guard in 2003 and 2004 before being switched to center where he earned five Pro Bowl selections for the Cowboys.

The Ravens will also be undermanned in the secondary as both Jimmy Smith and Chris Carr were ruled out against Tennessee. Smith is expected to miss a few weeks with a high ankle sprain, but there was some hope that Carr would be able to play after aggravating his left hamstring in the first half against the Steelers last week.

Carr did not practice all week, and it appears the Ravens have shut him down for now in hopes of strengthening the hamstring that’s given him problems for over a month.

“I’m trying to be cautious and smart about it, and, definitely, I’m feeling good,” Carr said before being ruled out. “If I’m ready to play, then I’ll be ready, but we’re going to be smart about it.”

With Carr and Smith out, it likely means an increased workload for veteran Domonique Foxworth behind current starters Cary Williams and Lardarius Webb. Chykie Brown will also be available for Sunday’s game after being inactive last Sunday, but the Ravens would likely use versatile safety Haruki Nakamura as a nickel corner before turning to the rookie from Texas.

OUT – CB Jimmy Smith (ankle), CB Chris Carr (thigh)
DOUBTBUL – G Ben Grubbs (toe)
PROBABLE – WR Lee Evans (ankle), FB Vonta Leach (foot)

DOUBTFUL – S Chris Hope (shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE – DE William Hayes (shoulder), WR Damian Williams (hamstring)
PROBABLE – DE Jason Jones (knee), DE Derrick Morgan (knee), RB Javon Ringer (back)

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear more from John Harbaugh, Ben Grubbs, Andre Gurode, Chris Carr, and Chykie Brown right here.

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