Tag Archive | "Ed Dickson"

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Dickson, Ellerbe, Graham, J. Jones sit out Wednesday’s practice

Posted on 28 November 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With a chance to clinch the AFC North division title against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, the Ravens hit the practice field on Wednesday with four key players missing from action.

Tight end Ed Dickson, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, cornerback Corey Graham, and wide receiver Jacoby Jones did not practice in the first full workout of the week while five other players practiced on a limited basis.

Dickson and Ellerbe are considered to be the biggest concerns in terms of their availability for Sunday’s game as the starting tight end is dealing with a knee injury while the inside linebacker suffered an ankle injury in the 16-13 win over the San Diego Chargers. Coach John Harbaugh said Monday he expected each player to be very limited in practices this week with the thought that they would both have a chance to play against the Steelers.

“I feel pretty good,” Dickson said prior to missing Wednesday’s practice. “I’m as far along as I can be on a Wednesday, and I want to continue to rehab it and get ready.”

Graham was listed as missing Wednesday’s practice with an illness while Jones rested the sore ankle that was re-aggravated during Sunday’s win.

Cornerback Chris Johnson, defensive end Pernell McPhee, and safeties Bernard Pollard and Ed Reed were all limited participants.

Harbaugh confirmed that linebacker Ray Lewis was in the building rehabbing on Wednesday, which is something he’d done away from the facility prior to this point, but did not practice. The 37-year-old linebacker is eligible to return to the practice field on Thursday, but the Baltimore coach gave no indication when he would begin working with the rest of the team.

“We’ll just play it day by day as far as whether he practices or not,” Harbaugh said. “He is not imminent to return to play or anything like that, so to me it’s really a non-story. He’ll go out there when he’s ready to practice when the elbow holds up, and when that happens, we’ll let you know.”

For Pittsburgh, quarterback Ben Roethlisbeger practiced on a limited basis as most media reports are giving him no more than a 50 percent chance of playing against the Ravens on Sunday. Head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday the plan is to prepare as if backup Charlie Batch will start this week while Roethlisberger tests out his injured right shoulder in practices.

Linebacker LaMarr Woodley was absent from Wednesday’s practice and is considered doubtful after sustaining an ankle injury in the Steelers loss in Cleveland.

The Steelers received good news, however, with the returns of wide receiver Antonio Brown and safety Troy Polamalu, who are both expected to play in Baltimore if they don’t suffer any setbacks.

OUT: CB Jimmy Smith (abs)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: TE Ed Dickson (knee), LB Dannell Ellerbe (ankle, knee, finger), CB Corey Graham (illness), WR Jacoby Jones (ankle)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: CB Chris Johnson (thigh), DE Pernell McPhee (thigh), S Bernard Pollard (chest), S Ed Reed (shoulder), WR Torrey Smith (thigh)
FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Anquan Boldin (knee), DT Terrence Cody (elbow), TE Dennis Pitta (neck), LB Terrell Suggs (ankle)

DID NOT PARTICIPATE: T Mike Adams (ankle), T Willie Colon (knee), QB Byron Leftwich (ribs), T Max Starks (back), LB LaMarr Woodley (ankle)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Jerricho Cotchery (ribs), QB Ben Roethlishberger (right shoulder)
FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Antonio Brown (ankle), S Troy Polamalu (calf)

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Harbaugh thinks Lewis will return before end of regular season

Posted on 26 November 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With plenty of buzz stemming from a Yahoo! Sports report saying Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis could make his return as early as Week 15, John Harbaugh was obviously going to receive questions about the injured star on Monday.

As you’d expect, the Ravens coach made no definitive statements to confirm or deny Mike Silver’s report, but Harbaugh did offer his strongest opinion yet on a potential return by the 37-year-old linebacker, who sustained a torn right triceps against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 14. The previous sentiment had been optimism that Lewis might return if the Ravens were to make a deep postseason run in January, but Harbaugh was asked whether he thought the 13-time Pro Bowl defensive player would be back before the end of the regular season.

“I think he will. That’s a best guess,” Harbaugh said. “He’s working hard to do that. We’ll see.”

Lewis is eligible to return to the practice field this week after spending the last six weeks on injured reserve with the designation to return. Under the rules of the new IR exemption, a player can begin practicing six weeks after being placed on IR and would be eligible to return to game action two weeks after that.

Harbaugh wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Lewis practicing this week, but he also didn’t provide much clarity in how far along the linebacker is in the rehabilitation process. Lewis made his return to the team’s Owings Mills facility on Nov. 9 and has been on the sideline at each of the Ravens’ last three games.

If Lewis is planning to get back on the field this week, the Ravens aren’t offering any kind of a warning at this point.

“We’ll know then. We’ll have to test [the arm] and see if it can hold up,” Harbaugh said. “I really don’t know where it’s at right now. Ray’s been in rehab mode, so he hasn’t been here from a football standpoint in terms of us seeing any of that yet. Just talking to Ray, it sounds like things have gone well. There have been no setbacks, so there’s a possibility.”

Fan response to Lewis’ potential return has been surprisingly mixed as some have pointed to the impressive play of Dannell Ellerbe and the overall improvement of the Baltimore defense without Lewis in recent weeks.

When asked whether the Ravens would be wise to show more patience before Lewis’ potential return, Harbaugh dismissed any notion or hint that they might be better off if he waited longer before trying to play.

“I think it’d be great to get Ray Lewis back,” Harbaugh said. “All of our guys would welcome Ray back with open arms if and when that happens. In the meantime, Ray is part of our defense just like Terrell Suggs is part of our defense. The whole thing is coming together — hopefully — better every week, and we could stumble at any time in this league. But adding a great player into the mix is only going to make us better.”

Dickson, Ellerbe “have a chance” to play against Pittsburgh

Harbaugh painted an uncertain picture for the chances of tight end Ed Dickson and Ellerbe returning to action against Pittsburgh after leaving Sunday’s game with injuries.

Dickson injured his knee in the second quarter against San Diego and didn’t return, leaving an expanded role to fellow tight end Dennis Pitta. Despite having a disappointing season as a receiver, Dickson is regarded as the better blocker as Pitta struggled on several occasions against the Chargers.

“Ed has a bruised knee — a sprained knee,” Harbaugh said. “It’s nothing major in terms of ligament damage or anything like that. He’ll have a chance to get back this week. It just depends on how it goes and how well it heals.”

Ellerbe also left Sunday’s game in the second quarter with a foot injury and was replaced by the combination of former practice-squad member Josh Bynes and veteran special-teams standout Brendon Ayanbadejo.

The latter performed well in Ellerbe’s absence, recording four tackles and a pass defense in the 16-13 overtime win.

“Dannell Ellerbe has kind of a foot-ankle thing,” Harbaugh said. “He’s got a little swelling in there. He’ll have a chance to get back this week too, and we’ll just have to see how it goes. The practice for those two guys will be very limited this week, and we’ll try to get them to the game on Sunday.”

After missing his fourth straight game on Sunday, defensive end Pernell McPhee is expected to practice once again this week as he continues to recuperate from knee and thigh injuries. The second-year defensive lineman hasn’t played since the Houston game on Oct. 21.

Starting in McPhee’s place, third-year lineman Arthur Jones registered the first two sacks of his NFL career against the Chargers and finished the game with five tackles.

“He should be at practice this week, and we’ll be hopeful that he can play,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll have to see.”

D. Reed activated from PUP list


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Suggs hoping to continue progress against old foe Palmer

Posted on 07 November 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Terrell Suggs hasn’t taken the field at M&T Bank Stadium since last January, but when he makes his 2012 home debut on Sunday, he’ll be looking across the line of scrimmage at a familiar opponent.

It will mark quarterback Carson Palmer’s first game against the Ravens since he was traded to the Oakland Raiders last season, but Suggs remembers the longtime Bengals quarterback as a thorn in his team’s side for years. Palmer owns a 9-4 record in his career against the Ravens, including some last-minute heroics on a couple occasions in Baltimore.

“He is one of those underrated quarterbacks that can make every throw, especially if he gets in a groove,” Suggs said. “You all saw it when he was in Cincinnati. I remember vividly games I thought we had won, and Carson Palmer got in his groove and he torched us. He is a really good quarterback, and he knows us pretty well, too.”

Palmer erased a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Ravens in 2004 and also marched the Bengals 80 yards for the game-winning touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell with 22 seconds remaining in their 2009 meeting in Baltimore.

At 32 years old, Palmer doesn’t display the same rifle that prompted the Bengals to draft the 2002 Heisman Trophy winner with the first overall pick of the 2003 draft, but the Raiders quarterback has thrown for 2,355 yards, 13 touchdowns, and eight interceptions this season. Never considered a mobile quarterback, Palmer has never had too many issues with Suggs over the years as the five-time Pro Bowl linebacker has collected just four sacks in the 13 games they’ve played against each other.

Of course, many of those games came with Cincinnati’s capable left tackle Andrew Whitworth keeping Suggs in check. The Raiders will entrust Jared Veldheer to protect Palmer’s blindside from the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year.

“You still have to play the game, but this is one of the more dangerous quarterbacks because he doesn’t scramble,” Suggs said. “He’ll stand in the pocket and make the play and make the right throw.”

With Oakland running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson both suffering high ankle sprains in the Raiders’ Week 9 loss to Tampa Bay, Palmer will likely be expected to throw at will after attempting 61 passes and tossing four touchdowns in the loss to the Buccaneers.

Meanwhile, Suggs hopes to continue to build on his comeback from a partially-torn Achilles tendon after a quiet performance against Cleveland in his second game back. Sunday will mark the first time that Suggs will have played games in two straight weeks, and the pass-rusher admits he is still working his way back to pre-injury form.

How close he is to being 100 percent is anyone’s guess, but Suggs did not appear to take a step forward in Cleveland after a strong debut that included a sack in the Ravens’ Week 7 loss in Houston.

“The only thing that can really determine that is my play,” Suggs said. “As I get better, I can get some of my explosion back and, not only that, my game-time wind. We pretty much evaluate after every game.”

Disappearing tight ends

Entering the season with high expectations, tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson haven’t taken the steps forward the Ravens had hoped to see through the first half of the season.

Pitta started fast this season, catching 18 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns in the first three games of the season, but the third-year tight end has caught just 14 passes and no touchdowns in the last five games.

Even more concerning has been the disappearance of Dickson, who has only 10 receptions for 85 yards in eight games. The former third-round pick caught 54 passes for 528 yards and five touchdowns last season as it appeared he and Pitta were emerging as one of the most dangerous tandems of tight ends in the league.

“The tight ends can be more productive,” coach John Harbaugh said. “That’s something that they are working really hard. [Tight ends coach] Wade Harman is doing a great job coaching them, but I’d like to see a few more plays out of them, and I know they feel the same way.”

Dickson has struggled to catch the football, a problem he dealt with last season, while Pitta has had trouble getting open against man-to-man coverage.

Pitta believes the reduced number of opportunities has been a factor for the lack of production at the tight end position. After he was targeted 30 times in the first three games of the year, Pitta has been targeted by quarterback Joe Flacco 20 times in the last five games.


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Defensive coordinator Pees tired of Kruger being compared to Suggs

Posted on 07 September 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ever since the revelation in early May of linebacker Terrell Suggs suffering a partial tear of his Achilles tendon, the Ravens have been peppered with questions about what it means for their pass rush and overall defense in 2012.

On the Friday before the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, it appeared defensive coordinator Dean Pees had heard enough when asked how critical it would be for linebacker Paul Kruger to accumulate more sacks with Suggs expected to be out of the lineup until at least November. Pees reiterated the common theme of multiple players needing to step up in the star pass-rusher’s absence.

Only he didn’t sound nearly as cordial in expressing that this time in comparison to previous statements.

“It has nothing to do with Sizzle. It has to do with playing outside linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens,” Pees said. “You guys keep comparing; you can never compare two people. It has nothing to do with another guy. There’s no comparison; I never compare them.

“It’s playing outside linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. Period. Whether it’s the Sam, the rush, the Mike, the Will, when Ray [Lewis] was out, it has nothing to do with a guy having to take another guy’s position. It has to do with that guy playing his position.”

The Ravens’ pass rush will receive its first test against a Cincinnati offensive line with three new starters inside, meaning defensive end Pernell McPhee and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata may have opportunities to pressure second-year quarterback Andy Dalton.

Uncertainty remains at both outside linebacker positions with Paul Kruger and Albert McClellan both unproven as three-down players, so Pees will need to be more creative in generating heat on the passer until the Ravens can accurately assess where they’re at in that department. Baltimore is still hoping rookie Courtney Upshaw can also provide a bigger impact than what he showed in an injury-plagued preseason.

No one player has the ability to replace Suggs, but the Ravens hope a combination of rushers along with a deep group of cornerbacks will minimize the damage in the Pro Bowl linebacker’s absence.

“Terrell is a big part of our team, a big part of what we do, and guys are going to have to step up,” safety Ed Reed said. “Not just one player, every guy that’s on offense, defense, and special teams. We’ve all got to pick up that slack, because we know what Terrell brings to the table.”

Suggs was held to one sack in two games against Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth, which could mean Kruger and McClellan will have their hands full generating any pressure on Dalton. The question is nothing new as the loss of the Pro Bowl linebacker may knock the Ravens defense from the elite status it enjoys annually.

Pees is right that Kruger shouldn’t be held in comparison to Suggs, but asking whether the sum of the parts can not only match the 14 sacks accumulated by Suggs a season ago but also force teams to game-plan and account for pressure in the same way they’ve done in the past is a relevant and fair query.

“I don’t want to come across stirred up about it,” Pees said. “I’m not, it’s just when you compare players, you take everything so far out of context. It’s not about that; it’s about how he fits in the defense, how does he do his part. He’s one of 11 of this defense and so is Sizzle when he’s in there — he’s one of 11. Whether you game plan certain ways or whatever, that’s what they are. They all have one-eleventh stock in this defense.”

Needless to say, if the Ravens are unable to make Dalton uncomfortable in the pocket Monday, the questions and concerns will only grow louder.

Cameron confident in tight ends getting up to speed

With Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta practicing fully on Thursday and Friday, any notion of the tight ends being game-time decisions was clearly gamesmanship on the part of coach John Harbaugh.

However, with Pitta missing nearly all of training camp and Dickson injuring his shoulder in the first preseason game, it remains to be seen how quickly the pair can become acclimated in a Baltimore offense that focused exclusively on the no-huddle attack this summer. The Ravens relied on both tight ends heavily last season and you’d expect to see the same in 2012, but it will be interesting to gauge how the coaching staff handles their workload after the offense primarily went with three-wide sets in August.

“Both guys – it’s a tribute to both of them – even though they’ve missed practices, they’re not missing meetings, they’re not missing any walk-throughs, they’re not missing any rehab or strength and conditioning,” Cameron said. “[Quarterback Joe Flacco] has such a great rapport with those guys. Not only are they together on the field, they’re around Joe all the time. So I’m thrilled to have them back, and I think they’ll pick up right where they left off with no concerns at all.”

The Ravens used plenty of single-back looks in August, which makes you think we could see Dickson lining up at tight end with Pitta moving to a slot position on a semi-regular basis, but the offense also wants to have more speed on the outside with Jacoby Jones as the No. 3 receiver and possession wideout Anquan Boldin sliding to the slot.

Regardless of how the rotation plays out this season, Monday might be too soon to draw conclusions based on how the playing time is split up against the Bengals as the tight ends are still working their way back into football shape.

Tucker letting it rip on kickoffs

One question asked by fans throughout the preseason has been about rookie kicker Justin Tucker’s unimpressive performance on kickoffs.

Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg reminded everyone Thursday that the rookie was directed not to send kickoffs as far as he could in order for the staff to evaluate its the kickoff coverage, which struggled a year ago. Tucker was only allowed to take five steps in approaching the ball instead of the ability to take a longer approach to the tee.

With the regular season now upon us, Tucker will be allowed to put his full foot — with full steps included — into each and every kickoff in hopes that the rest of the unit won’t receive as many opportunities to cover.

“He’s certainly going to try,” said Rosburg in describing how Tucker will simply boot it as far as he can. “That is the way we kick off; we try to kick it as far as we can, and we’ll give him that opportunity. You may have seen in the St. Louis game, I believe he did it twice if I’m not mistaken, and one they brought out [of the end zone] and the other one was [kicked] out of the end zone.”

Organization supports Ayanbadejo’s stance on marriage equality

The bizarre story of Maryland House of Delegates member Emmett C. Burns Jr. writing a letter to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti stating his opposition to linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo’s public support of marriage equality created quite a stir this week.

But the Ravens are standing by the veteran’s side.

Ayanbadejo has spoken openly in support of gay marriage countless times, which promoted Burns to write a letter expressing how “appalled and aghast” he was over the public stance and imploring Bisciotti to silence his player. In response, team president Dick Cass issued a statement supporting Ayanbadejo’s right to free speech and even delivered a message directly to the player regarding the matter.

“He said, ‘We’re in support of you, and it’s good that you’re able to voice your opinion and say how you feel,’” Ayanbadejo said. “But Dick personally told me that we’re not an organization that discriminates and he was telling me how he was on Pro Football Talk and he was reading all the comments that people have said and he was overwhelmingly surprised and happy to see that football fans were supporting me and what I said. He told me that I should go there and I should read it.”

Ayanbadejo believes we’ve seen a dramatic shift in support over the last four or five years, with more people beginning to support marriage equality. Cass also offered him a take on the state of NFL locker rooms as it relates to the issue of equality.

“He believes the culture in locker rooms is changing as well,” Ayanbadejo said. “He believes there are gay players in the NFL — they’re just not publicly gay. He thinks that, for the most part, players just want to play with good players. They don’t care who your mother, your father, who you are, what color or creed you are as long as you can play football at this level.”

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Ravens take practice field with heavy hearts over Modell’s passing

Posted on 06 September 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With the backdrop of former team owner Art Modell’s passing on Thursday morning, the Ravens continued preparations for their season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.

During the first 30 minutes of practice open for media viewing, running back Ray Rice hadn’t appeared on the field after meeting with the media two hours earlier. Typically a late arrival to the practice field on most days, Rice did not appear to be dealing with any trace of an injury when talking with reporters, which could be an indication that he was simply later than normal taking the field.

The team will release its first injury report of the week on Thursday afternoon, which will provide more clarity regarding Rice’s level of participation in the practice.

Offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf) was not dressed out for practice as he watched Thursday’s workout from the sidelines. The second-year player appears unlikely to play against the Bengals and has dealt with a calf injury since June. He has experienced two different setbacks since initially being carted off the field on the final day of mandatory minicamp in mid-June.

Safety Sean Considine (concussion) was practicing with a red non-contact jersey and hadn’t taken his baseline test as of Wednesday.

Tight ends Ed Dickson (shoulder) and Dennis Pitta (hand) were both present and working during the opening portion of practice after both expressed thoughts of being game-time decisions on Wednesday. Despite their conservative comments, both players are expected to play on Monday night.

In memory of Modell’s passing, the Ravens will honor the former owner’s memory prior to kickoff and players will wear a black circle with white letters spelling out Modell’s initials “ABM” for the entire season.

Despite typically wearing their black jerseys for home games in primte time, the Ravens will be dressed in their purple jerseys against Cincinnati.

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Ravens tight ends expect to be game-time decisions Monday

Posted on 05 September 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Since both of their tight ends went down with injuries early in the preseason, the Ravens have maintained all along that Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson would be ready for the start of the regular season.

And while both have been practicing on a limited basis since last week, the pair took a more cautious approach in assessing their chances for taking the field against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night. Both Dickson and Pitta said they expect to be game-time decisions following practice on Wednesday.

Pitta has been sidelined since undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone in his right hand early in camp while Dickson sprained his right shoulder in the Ravens’ preseason opener in Atlanta. Their absence from the field has provided an extra challenge to quarterback Joe Flacco and an offense with an increased emphasis on the no-huddle attack this season.

“A lot more mental preparation, obviously, but it’s nice to be back on the field now,” Pitta said. “I’ve been able to be out there for the last week or so running around and catching the football. It’s nice to be back running plays and developing that chemistry again with Joe and with the offense. Hopefully, it will feel good come game day.”

Coach John Harbaugh insists that players not discuss information related to injuries, so it’s difficult to determine just how serious the tight ends are about being in danger of not playing. The first official injury report of the week will not be released until Thursday evening, but Dickson and Pitta will have been practicing for a full two weeks, which makes it difficult to believe they might not play.

Both players have not partaken in any contact during practices, so it will be interesting to see what their level of participation is this week in practice. Veteran Billy Bajema is the third tight end on the roster.

“Practice until we get to that game,” Dickson said. “Like I said, if it was a personal decision, I don’t care how I’d feel — I’d be out there. I’m here to help the team win. I want to be out there for my team, but I don’t want to hurt the team.”

As you’d expect, Pitta is trying to gain more confidence in catching the football after being sidelined for a month and having his hand in a cast. The third-year tight end felt thankful that he injured the hand so early in camp to allow plenty of time for recovery.

“We just prepare ourselves each day, and we hope to play,” Pitta said. “Obviously, we don’t know at this point and we’ll see how it feels in the next few days, but we’re doing everything we can to prepare ourselves to play because we want to be out there and help our team.”

While both tight ends expressed the need to regain their timing with Flacco, neither anticipated that process taking very long after the success the pair enjoyed last season. Dickson and Pitta combined for 94 catches, 933 yards, and eight touchdown catches last year.

“Joe and I have a good relationship,” Pitta said. “We trust one other on the field, so it’s just about regaining that timing and confidence and all that. We’re able to do that a little bit this week.”

Yanda, Upshaw ready to go Monday

As we learned late last season when rib and leg injuries landed him in the hospital before he still wound up playing in the regular-season finale, it takes quite a bit to keep Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda off the field.

Therefore, it was no secret that the tweaked knee Yanda had suffered after being accidentally undercut by a teammate in practice two weeks ago was a little more serious than the Ravens were leading on. The sixth-year lineman revealed Wednesday he suffered an MCL sprain but declared himself ready to play in the season opener.

“I feel great, I’m 100 percent — the knee’s good,” Yanda said. “[The ligament] was loose for a while, but it’s definitely tightening back up. I just wear the brace and the tape just for precaution.”

Yanda missed the final two preseason games as veteran Bobbie Williams shifted over to right guard and rookie Kelechi Osemele played left guard against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Ravens rested their starting offensive line in the fourth preseason game.

After an uncertain summer in which the Ravens rotated tackles and left guards in determining what their starting lineup would look like against Cincinnati — a question that still remains unanswered to some degree — Yanda remains the dependable foundation of the unit. The timing of the injury allowed Yanda to rest his body when he otherwise would have pushed through the ailment had it occurred in the regular season.

“It was hurt. It was loose, so I wasn’t going to fight through it during the preseason and make it worse,” said Yanda, who believed he could have played had it been the regular season. “We were just going to let it heal all the way, and that’s what it’s done.”

Questions remain regarding the stability of Williams’ surgically-repaired right ankle and the fact that three  of the five projected starters are on the wrong side of thirty, but the unit appears to be in much better shape with Yanda’s knee no longer being a concern.

“You always want to start the season healthy,” Yanda said. “It’s a long year and I’m going to do that, so that’s great. I’ll be ready to roll [and] flying around.”

Rookie linebacker Courtney Upshaw also said he will be ready to play after tweaking the same shoulder he sprained earlier in the summer in the Ravens’ preseason finale last Thursday.

Ihedigbo ready to step in wherever needed


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Rice, Leach amongst highest rated in Madden NFL 13

Posted on 20 August 2012 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Electronic Arts, here is a rundown of overall player ratings for the Madden NFL 13 video game, which will be released next week.

Top 10 Quarterbacks:
1. Aaron Rodgers (99)
2. Tom Brady (98)
3. Drew Brees (98)
4. Eli Manning (97)
5. Ben Roethlisberger (95)
6. Peyton Manning (93)
7. Philip Rivers (92)
8. Matthew Stafford (91)
9. Tony Romo (90)
10. Michael Vick (89)

*Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco has an overall rating of 89

Top 10 Running Backs:
1. Maurice Jones-Drew (97)
2.  Adrian Peterson (97)
3. Arian Foster (96)
4. LeSean McCoy (95)
5. Ray Rice (95)
6. Matt Forte (93)
7. Frank Gore (92)
8. Stephen Jackson (92)
9. Jamaal Charles (91)
10. Michael Turner (91)

*Ravens FB Vonta Leach has an overall rating of 92

Top 10 Wide Receivers/Tight Ends:
1. Calvin Johnson (99)
2. Rob Gronkowski (97)
3. Larry Fitzgerald (97)
4. Andre Johnson (97)
5. Vernon Davis (95)
6. Jimmy Graham (95)
7. Steve Smith (95)
8. Wes Welker (95)
9. Roddy White (94)
10. Hakeem Nicks (94)

*Ravens WR Anquan Boldin has a rating of 87, Torrey Smith 80, Jacoby Jones 74; Tight End Ed Dickson has a rating of 77, Dennis Pitta 74

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Birk, J. Smith, three others return to practice Saturday

Posted on 11 August 2012 by Luke Jones

(Updated: 5:40 p.m.)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Returning to the practice field after their 31-17 win in the preseason opener over Atlanta, the Ravens saw five players return to action but were also dealing with several news absences from injuries sustained against the Falcons.

Center Matt Birk (back), cornerback Jimmy Smith (back), defensive end Arthur Jones (hip), running back Bernard Pierce (hamstring), and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe all returned to practice on Saturday as the Ravens begin a new week of practice leading into their first preseason home game against Detroit on Friday.

Birk hadn’t practiced since July 28 after dealing with back spasms.

“It’s good to get those guys back,” coach John Harbaugh said. “It’s very important. Those guys were out here practicing, and we need to have those guys.”

Despite the good news of several key players returning, the Ravens also faced the fallout from Thursday’s game as tight end Ed Dickson (sprained right shoulder), defensive lineman Ryan McBean (broken left ankle), wide receivers Torrey Smith (sprained ankle) and Logan Payne (hip), and cornerbacks Asa Jackson (hamstring) and Chykie Brown (hamstring) did not practice.

All aforementioned players were injured against the Falcons, with McBean’s injury potentially sidelining him for the rest of the season. Dickson — who came out to watch practice in street clothes with his right arm in a sling — is expected to miss a few weeks but will be ready in time for the Ravens’ season opener on Sept. 10. Smith’s injury is not considered to be serious.

Harbaugh would not disclose any updates on the severity of McBean’s fracture or confirm whether it would be a season-ending injury.

“It’s already been reported, so there’s no reason for me to comment any further,” Harbaugh said. “You guys already got what you need.”

Others not practicing included linebackers Josh Bynes (back) and Darryl Blackstock (groin), and wide receivers Tandon Doss (hamstring) and Patrick Williams (leg). Wide receiver David Reed (knee) and offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf) remain on the active physically unable to perform list while linebacker Terrell Suggs continues to rehab his surgically-repaired Achilles tendon while on the non-football injury list.

Rookie linebacker Courtney Upshaw (shoulder) was practicing again after sitting out Thursday’s game. He practiced for the first time since July 28 on Tuesday but was held out of the game due to a lack of practice reps.



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Dickson, McBean injured in preseason opener against Atlanta

Posted on 10 August 2012 by Luke Jones

Already dealing with the loss of Dennis Pitta for the rest of the preseason, the Ravens will now wait on the status of Ed Dickson after the tight end left Thursday’s game with a sprained right shoulder.

Dickson landed hard on the shoulder upon catching a 9-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco in the second quarter of the Ravens’ 31-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons. The third-year tight end will undergo an MRI on Friday and could be sidelined a few weeks, according to head coach John Harbaugh.

Dickson’s absence would leave tight ends Davon Drew and Billy Bajema at the top of the depth chart with undrafted rookies Bruce Figgins and Matt Balasavage behind them. Pitta is expected to return by the start of the regular season after undergoing surgery on his broken right hand last week.

The most serious of the injuries sustained Thursday appeared to have occurred to defensive lineman Ryan McBean, who was carted off the field with what’s feared to be a fractured left ankle. He will undergo an X-ray Friday to determine the extent of the damage.

McBean was tabbed to be a key member of the defensive line rotation and is already facing a three-game suspension due to a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Wide receiver Torrey Smith also suffered a sprained ankle in the preseason opener, but the injury is not believed to be serious.

Wide receiver Logan Payne (hip flexor) and cornerback Asa Jackson (hamstring) were also injured during Thursday’s game.

The Ravens deactivated 13 players due to injury-related concerns prior to their first preseason contest.

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Ed Reed misses practice; Yanda, J. Jones exit early

Posted on 06 August 2012 by Luke Jones

(Updated: 6:35 p.m.)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Returning to the practice field for the first time since their public workout at M&T Bank Stadium over the weekend, the Ravens were without safety Ed Reed during the opening portion of practice Monday afternoon.

Midway through Saturday’s practice, the veteran appeared to bang his left leg but finished the workout without any apparent concerns. Reed walked out to the field to watch the latter portion of practice while sporting a sleeve on his left leg. Reed received the day off last Monday along with linebacker Ray Lewis but has practiced every other day since reporting to training camp on July 25.

In addition to the laundry list of players missing at the start of practice, right guard Marshal Yanda, wide receiver Jacoby Jones, defensive end Pernell McPhee, and running back Anthony Allen did not finish Monday’s practice. Yanda left the field at the conclusion of the opening special teams period and showed no visible discomfort, but he never returned over the course of a practice that lasted over two hours.

“Jacoby, I pulled him out about midway through,” Harbaugh said. “I just felt like he’d done enough. Marshal, I pulled him out early in the practice and just felt like he’d had enough. And Pernell, I’m not sure about. That wasn’t me, so we’ll have to find out about that one.”

Wide receiver Tandon Doss (hamstring), cornerback Cary Williams, and tight end Ed Dickson returned to the practice field on Monday. Doss had been sidelined since the first week of camp while Williams missed workouts on Friday and Saturday but told reporters the absence wasn’t related to his surgically-repaired hip and he was simply resting. Dickson was poked in the eye during the stadium practice, but the third-year tight end told reporters he would be fine.

In addition to Reed, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and defensive tackle Ma’ake Kemoeatu were new absences on Monday. However, each player missed one practice last week.

Others absent included cornerback Jimmy Smith (back), offensive linemen Matt Birk (back) and Jah Reid (calf), linebackers Courtney Upshaw (shoulder), Josh Bynes, and Darryl Blackstock (groin), defensive lineman Arthur Jones (hip), running back Bernard Pierce (hamstring), wide receiver Patrick Williams (leg), and tight end Dennis Pitta (hand).

Upshaw has now missed seven straight practices and hasn’t worked since July 28 after suffering a sprained shoulder in a collision with Pierce. While the Ravens are eager to see him return to the practice field, Harbaugh reminded everyone there are plenty of reps remaining in the preseason and the team is not deviating from its plan to replace linebacker Terrell Suggs.

“He got lots of reps in the offseason program earlier,” Harbaugh said. “We just need to get him out there participating. Obviously, Sergio’s a big part of that. Albert’s gotten a lot of reps. Paul Kruger’s been out there the whole time. Courtney’s a piece that we need to evaluate and develop, and he’ll be in there soon enough.”

Suggs remains on the non-football injury list while wide receiver David Reed is on the physically unabe to perform list, and both are expected to miss the entire preseason.

The Ravens will practice again on Tuesday before traveling to Atlanta for their preseason opener on Thursday night.


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