Tag Archive | "eugene monroe"

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Ravens continue chasing ghost at left tackle position

Posted on 15 December 2015 by Luke Jones

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has used high draft picks, made trades, and even handed out long-term contracts, but the same pursuit continues beyond a stopgap or two.

He’s still chasing the on-field ghost of Jonathan Ogden, the Hall of Fame left tackle and the first player selected in the history of the franchise with the fourth pick of the 1996 draft. With every passing year, appreciation grows deeper for what Ogden did for more than a decade as they complete their eighth season since his retirement at the end of the 2007 campaign.

Finding a future Hall of Famer at the position is one thing, but Newsome and the Ravens would settle for a guy who they can pencil into the lineup for the next four or five years and be able to sleep well at night.

Not counting backups filling in due to injuries, there’s been Jared Gaither, Michael Oher, Bryant McKinnie, and Eugene Monroe, none holding down the position for more than a season or two before concerns resurface. Fourth-year left guard Kelechi Osemele has become the latest man to receive a shot as he started his first NFL game at left tackle in Sunday’s loss to Seattle.

Scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, Osemele will remain at left tackle for the final three games of 2015, according to head coach John Harbaugh.

“I thought he looked good. There are some things that he can do better,” Harbaugh said. “Sometimes the sets and the angles and the timing the movement, sometimes it’s something that he’ll get a feel for more and more as he plays. But he had lots of good blocks [in] pass protection and the run game. I thought he was a bright spot.”

A left tackle at Iowa State before being selected in the second round of the 2012 draft, Osemele expressed his enjoyment for the position after Sunday’s 35-6 loss, but the Ravens may only be enhancing the lineman’s value on the open market instead of finding a long-term solution for themselves. With a less-than-enviable salary cap situation going into the offseason, Newsome signed four-time Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda to a four-year extension earlier this fall, leading many to believe that Osemele will receive a big payday elsewhere.

Even if the above-average guard looks the part of a long-term left tackle over these final three games, there’s still the matter of what the Ravens will do with Monroe, who is only in the second season of a five-year, $37.5 million contract that clearly hasn’t worked out. Placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury over the weekend, Monroe has started just 17 games over the last two seasons and finished only three of the six contests he started this season.

Though he’s generally been solid when he’s played over the last two years, his performance still hasn’t been as strong as it was in 2013 when the Ravens traded fourth- and fifth-round draft picks to Jacksonville to acquire him in early October of that season. After concluding that Oher, their 2009 first-round pick, wasn’t suited for the blind side and having concerns about McKinnie’s commitment to the game, the Ravens felt Monroe would finally be the long-term answer they had sought from the time that Ogden retired.

After missing only four games in his first five seasons in the NFL, Monroe has missed 17 starts in the last two years, including two playoff games last season. After he left the Nov. 22 game against St. Louis with a shoulder injury, backup James Hurt rolled into quarterback Joe Flacco’s left knee, causing a season-ending injury.

In addition to Monroe reportedly refusing a simple contract restructuring that would have provided some salary-cap relief this past offseason, his inability to stay on the field at such an important position has frustrated the organization.

“It’s just disappointing, because here’s a guy that you’re counting on, we trade two picks for him, and he has played well,” Harbaugh said. “As he said, he was playing the best football of his career this year when he came back for two or three weeks or whenever he was back. I think that was the most crushing thing for him, because he felt like he was really playing really good football.

“It’s not what we hoped for. We hoped that he’d be in the lineup and playing, and that’s not what he hoped for [either]. Nobody works harder. This guy trains like you can’t believe, so it’s a tough deal.”

Many fans are clamoring for Monroe to be released in the offseason as he is scheduled to make $6.5 million in base salary and carry an $8.7 million figure for 2016. Cutting him with a pre-June 1 designation would save $2.1 million in cap space while leaving $6.6 million in dead money, a sizable chunk considering the many weaknesses Baltimore will need to address on both sides of the ball before next season. A post June-1 designation would push most of that dead money to 2017, but the Ravens would not be able to take advantage of that cap space until most free-agent activity would long be over.

Even if Newsome and the Ravens elect to move on from Monroe, it remains unclear whether Osemele would be within their price range, making it possible that they could turn to the draft to find their answer. Currently set to pick in the top five of April’s draft, the Ravens may find Laremy Tunsil of Ole Miss or Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley as attractive — and more affordable — options at left tackle with their first pick.

Regardless of what happens over the next few months, the Ravens find themselves back in an all-too-familiar position.

They’re still trying to replace No. 75.

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Ravens-Seahawks: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 13 December 2015 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — It’s 65 degrees in mid-December and Jimmy Clausen is the quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens.

Thanks a lot, climate change.

Yes, Clausen will start against the two-time defending champion Seattle Seahawks, becoming the sixth quarterback in NFL history to start twice against the same opponent in the same season while playing for two different teams. Playing for an injured Jay Cutler in Week 3, Clausen and the Chicago Bears were shut out in a 26-0 defeat on Sept. 27.

After being listed as questionable on the final injury report and missing practices all week, Matt Schaub is inactive with what was listed as a chest injury. The 34-year-old veteran was banged up significantly in last week’s loss to Miami, slamming his head against the ground and finishing the game with knee and shoulder soreness.

Promoted to the practice squad on Saturday, Bryn Renner will serve as the backup quarterback to Clausen. Renner spent the entire offseason and summer with the Ravens before being released from the practice squad in mid-December.

Perhaps an even more intriguing development than the quarterback situation is the Baltimore offensive line where Kelechi Osemele lined up at left tackle during pre-game warm-ups. Eugene Monroe was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a shoulder ailment on Saturday, but it appears that the Ravens have seen enough from second-year lineman James Hurst at the position.

Osemele is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, so it appears that the Ravens want to at least explore the possibility of him playing left tackle, the position he played at Iowa State before he was selected in the second round of the 2012 draft. This would be his first NFL start at left tackle.

As expected, tight end Crockett Gillmore (back) is inactive, meaning rookie Maxx Williams moves to the top of the depth chart. Despite sitting out last Sunday’s game with a concussion, Williams is active and will start with Gillmore out and fellow rookie Nick Boyle suspended for the rest of the season. Former practice-squad member Konrad Reuland will serve as the No. 2 tight end.

Former Seahawks receiver Chris Matthews is active for the Ravens after being promoted from the practice squad on Saturday. Third-year receiver Marlon Brown will miss his third straight game with a back injury.

The Ravens and Seahawks will be meeting for the fifth time in the regular season with the teams splitting the first four contests. Seattle is visiting M&T Bank Stadium for the first time since 2003, but the Seahawks have won the last two games played between these teams.

Sunday’s forecast in Baltimore calls for partly cloudy skies with temperatures reaching the mid-60s and winds up to four miles per hour, according to Weather.com.

The referee for Sunday’s game will be Walt Coleman.

The Ravens will be wearing purple jerseys with black pants while Seattle dons its white tops with blue pants.

Below are Sunday’s inactives:

BALTIMORE
QB Matt Schaub
WR Marlon Brown
CB Tray Walker
TE Crockett Gillmore
TE Richard Gordon
DT Carl Davis
DE Kapron Lewis-Moore

SEATTLE
WR B.J. Daniels
CB Tye Smith
FS Steven Terrell
RB Marshawn Lynch
OL Kristjan Sokoli
DE Demarcus Dobbs
DT Jordan Hill

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Ravens place Monroe on IR, promote Renner to 53-man roster

Posted on 12 December 2015 by Luke Jones

Veteran left tackle Eugene Monroe officially saw his 2015 season come to an end on Saturday.

The decision to place him on injured reserve could also represent the end of his time with the Ravens. Having already been ruled out for Sunday’s game against Seattle, Monroe hadn’t played since re-aggravating a previous shoulder ailment on Nov. 22 and started just six games this season, finishing three.

The shoulder was just the latest injury to plague the 28-year-old left tackle, who is in the second season of a five-year, $37.5 million contract that included $17.5 million guaranteed. After signing that deal in March 2014, Monroe will have started just 17 of 34 games (counting the postseason) through the 2015 season, often leaving the Ravens no choice but to turn to former undrafted free agent James Hurst at left tackle. Pro Football Focus has graded Hurst 75th out of 76 qualifying offensive tackles in the NFL while Monroe was 23rd, a disappointment considering his level of compensation.

Monroe’s early exit against St. Louis in Week 11 preceded Hurst falling into Joe Flacco’s left knee on the final drive of the game, causing two torn ligaments that required season-ending surgery for the franchise quarterback. After missing only four games in his first five seasons, the 2009 first-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars hasn’t been able to stay on the field at a crucial position after the Ravens made him one of the better-paid left tackles in the NFL.

Scheduled to make $6.5 million in base salary and to carry an $8.7 million cap figure for the 2016 season, Monroe is a candidate to be released with a pre-June 1 designation, which would clear $2.1 million in cap space. However, his release would leave $6.6 million in dead money on the 2016 salary cap and require general manager Ozzie Newsome to address the left tackle position via the draft, free agency, or the trade market.

With veteran Matt Schaub questionable for Sunday’s game with a chest injury and the recently-signed Jimmy Clausen likely to start against the Seahawks, the Ravens promoted quarterback Bryn Renner from the practice squad on Saturday, a clear sign pointing toward Schaub not playing. Renner spent the entire offseason with the Ravens before being cut in early September. He was signed to the practice squad earlier in the week.

Baltimore also promoted former Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews to the 53-man roster and waived guard Kaleb Johnson. Matthews was signed to the practice squad on Nov. 23 and was a standout performer in Super Bowl XLIX, catching four passes for 109 yards and a touchdown in the 28-24 loss to New England.

Having been on the practice squad since the start of the season, Johnson was promoted to the active roster on Nov. 30 and appeared in one game. The Rutgers product would figure to be a strong candidate to be re-signed to the practice squad should he clear waivers.

Rookie safety Nick Perry was also re-signed to the practice squad on Saturday.

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Pondering Ravens left tackle, 2015 draft class, quarterback, more

Posted on 08 December 2015 by Luke Jones

It wasn’t long ago that left tackle Eugene Monroe was emerging as one of the Ravens’ best players.

General manager Ozzie Newsome and the organization certainly thought so after they acquired the former Jacksonville Jaguar for fourth- and fifth-round picks just over two years ago. His strong play in 11 games in 2013 prompted the Ravens to sign Monroe to a five-year, $37.5 million contract that included $17.5 million in guaranteed money.

Since then, Monroe has started just 17 of 30 games (including the postseason) as knee, foot, and shoulder injuries as well as a concussion at the start of the 2015 season have cost him extensive time. The 28-year-old missed only four games over his first five NFL seasons, but he’s started and finished just three games this year, leaving the overmatched James Hurst to fill in at left tackle. Even when Monroe has played, it’s been at an underwhelming level in comparison to his $7.7 million cap figure this year.

Many fans have questioned Monroe’s toughness, and it was interesting to hear John Harbaugh mention the left tackle’s agent on Monday when discussing the status of his injured shoulder that’s cost him three games and parts of two others this season. To be clear, the head coach did not speak with any hint of animosity, but you simply don’t hear an agent being cited very often in such discussions, leading one to wonder if the Ravens and Monroe have differing opinions on his health.

Regardless of whether Monroe returns to play in 2015, the Ravens will need to take a long look at the left tackle position this offseason as he simply hasn’t been dependable enough at a critical position. Hurst is a hard worker, but Pro Football Focus has graded him 74th out of 76 offensive tackles this season and he was the one who rolled into Joe Flacco’s left knee, causing the season-ending injury last month. The second-year tackle is just not starting material.

Monroe is scheduled to make $6.5 million and to carry an $8.7 million cap figure in 2016, but cutting him would still leave $6.6 million in dead money unless the Ravens were to use a post-June 1 designation. However, that strategy wouldn’t free up that cap space until after most free-agent activity was long finished.

With the Ravens now 4-8 and potentially picking in the top five of April’s draft, Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil will be one of many intriguing prospects to watch over the next few months.

Awful year for rookie class

The four-game suspension of rookie tight end Nick Boyle was the rotten cherry on top of a lousy first season for the 2015 draft class aside from fourth-round running back Buck Allen.

Facing so many offseason departures, the Ravens used their draft class to fill an assortment of needs, but that meant a cast of rookies needed to contribute immediately if they were to reach their lofty goals for the 2015 season. Needless to say, that hasn’t come close to happening.

Selected to replace speedy wide receiver Torrey Smith, first-round pick Breshad Perriman hurt his knee on the first day of training camp and didn’t play as much as a preseason snap in his rookie season. Tight end Maxx Williams has flashed potential here and there, but 19 catches and one touchdown are nothing to write home about for a second-round pick.

Drafted to essentially take the spots of free-agent departures Haloti Ngata and Pernell McPhee, third-round defensive tackle Carl Davis and fourth-round Za’Darius Smith have largely been non-factors with the former not even being active for the last two games. And though fourth-round cornerback Tray Walker was considered a bit of a project out of Texas Southern, it’s become clear that the Ravens drafted him way too early — even if he does eventually develop into a useful player.

Fifth-round guard Robert Myers didn’t even make the team — he’s now on the practice squad — and sixth-round receiver Darren Waller caught only two passes before a hamstring injury landed him on injured reserve.

Yes, it’s only the first season, so this isn’t a final condemnation on the 2015 draft class by any means. But the group couldn’t have been much more disappointing in its rookie campaign.

And now that Boyle’s better-than-expected play has been superseded by the disappointment of a four-game ban, Allen’s development into a starting-caliber back is the only saving grace of the group in 2015.

Running back debate

Allen is the most intriguing reason to watch the Ravens these days, but his performance is creating an interesting debate for the offseason.

Though he is averaging only 3.9 yards per carry, his ability as a receiver out of the backfield — an impressive 29 catches on 32 targets — is making quite a statement for the USC product to be the Ravens’ No. 1 back in 2016. And Terrance West has provided good depth in averaging 4.5 yards per carry in his two games with Baltimore thus far.

For those reasons, might the Ravens consider moving on from veteran Justin Forsett this offseason?

The 30-year-old will carry a $3.7 million cap figure next year and releasing him would save $2.3 million in salary cap space, no small amount for a team that will be looking for room even after renegotiating Flacco’s massive contract. And it’s not as though the Ravens wouldn’t have an impressive collection of young talent with Allen, West, and a returning Lorenzo Taliaferro in the backfield.

That trio would certainly benefit from Forsett’s experience and leadership, but how much is that worth? Would the Ravens feel comfortable handing the reins to an inexperienced threesome?

If Allen and West continue to play well over the final quarter of the season, Newsome may be faced with a difficult decision on Forsett, who is a popular player in the locker room and has been one of the feel-good stories of the last couple seasons.

Depressing quarterback situation

I can’t bring myself to care about a quarterback controversy for a 4-8 football team, but some fans are already clamoring for Jimmy Clausen to play with Matt Schaub having thrown two interceptions returned for touchdowns in two starts.

Given the current state of the offensive line and how sore Schaub was after the Miami game, it would not be surprising to see Clausen get a look sooner rather than later. It’s also worth remembering that the Ravens worked out former Houston quarterback Ryan Mallett last week, and he could still be summoned at some point over the final month.

The organization would like to identify someone who can handle the backup job, especially with Flacco unlikely to be ready until training camp at the earliest next season. But is it really all that interesting to watch such a competition play out for a team that’s going nowhere in December?

I’d rather watch Flacco rehab his surgically-repaired left knee.

NFC Least

Over the years, some Baltimore fans have suggested how interesting it would be if the Ravens were to move to the NFC East to compete against geographic neighbors Washington and Philadelphia.

Imagine if the 4-8 Ravens could be just one game out in a hapless division currently sporting three 5-7 teams tied for first place.

My pick to win that awful division?

Just give it to the Arizona Cardinals for old times’ sake after they languished in the NFC East for years.

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Ravens-Dolphins: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 06 December 2015 by Luke Jones

In search of a win in Miami for the third consecutive season, the Ravens are trying to keep their microscopic postseason hopes alive in taking on the Dolphins in Week 13.

As expected, Baltimore will be without left tackle Eugene Monroe, who was officially declared out after being listed as doubtful with a shoulder injury on the final injury report. Counting the playoffs, Monroe has now missed 12 games in the last two seasons and has started and finished just three games all season.

Second-year tackle James Hurst will start in Monroe’s place, but the Ravens will welcome back starting left guard Kelechi Osemele after a two-game absence because of a knee injury.

The Ravens will be without tight end Maxx Williams (concussion) and wide receiver Marlon Brown (back) for Sunday’s game.

Veteran cornerback Cassius Vaughn will make his Ravens debut after being inactive in each of the last two games.

Meanwhile, Miami has activated both center Mike Pouncey (foot) and wide receiver Kenny Stills (ankle) after they were listed as questionable on the final injury report. The Dolphins will be without starting right tackle Ja’Wuan James (toe), starting receiver Rishard Matthews (ribs), and starting defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (calf) after all three were declared out on Friday.

The Ravens and Dolphins will be meeting for the 11th time in the regular season with the teams tied 5-5 but Baltimore owning a 2-0 postseason edge. In the John Harbaugh era, the Ravens are 5-0 against the Dolphins, which includes a postseason win in Miami in 2008 and a 28-13 victory at Sun Life Stadium last season.

The forecast for Sunday’s game calls for temperatures in the high 70s, a 15 percent chance of precipitation, and winds up to 17 miles per hour, according to Weather.com.

The referee for Sunday’s game will be John Parry.

The Ravens will be wearing purple jerseys with white pants while Miami dons its white tops with white pants.

Below are Sunday’s inactives:

BALTIMORE
WR Marlon Brown
CB Tray Walker
OT Eugene Monroe
G Kaleb Johnson
TE Maxx Williams
DT Carl Davis
DE Kapron Lewis-Moore

MIAMI
WR Rishard Matthews
CB Jamar Taylor
LB Chris McCain
C Jacques McClendon
OL Ulrick John
OT Ja’Wuan James
DT Earl Mitchell

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Ravens left tackle Monroe doubtful to play against Miami

Posted on 04 December 2015 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A season of disappointment continues for Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe, who is listed as doubtful to play against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

After re-aggravating a shoulder injury in the second half of the Week 11 win over St. Louis on Nov. 22, Monroe has yet to return to practice and missed Monday’s game in Cleveland. Second-year lineman James Hurst is expected to make his sixth start of the season at left tackle, which would equal Monroe’s number of starts in 2015.

After missing just four games in his first five seasons in the NFL, Monroe is likely to miss his 12th game of the last two seasons (counting the playoffs). The 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman has finished just three games in the second season of a five-year, $37.5 million contract that included $17.5 million guaranteed.

In better news for the Baltimore offensive line, left guard Kelechi Osemele practiced fully all week and is probable to make his return against the Dolphins. Osemele missed the last two games with a lingering knee issue while Ryan Jensen made the first starts of his NFL career at left guard.

Rookie tight end Maxx Williams was officially ruled out after sustaining a concussion against the Browns and missing practice all week. Third-year wide receiver Marlon Brown was listed as doubtful with a lingering back injury that kept him sidelined against the Browns.

Right tackle Rick Wagner was absent from the final practice of the week due to a non-injury issue, but the third-year lineman is not in danger of missing Sunday’s game. He was listed as probable on the final injury report of the week.

“Not a concern,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s fine.”

Meanwhile, the Dolphins officially ruled out starting right tackle Ja’Wuan James (toe), starting receiver Rishard Matthews (ribs), and starting defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (calf). Starting center Mike Pouncey (foot) and starting wideout Kenny Stills (ankle) are questionable to play against the Ravens.

The referee for Sunday’s game will be John Parry.

According to Weather.com, Sunday’s forecast for Miami calls for temperatures in the low 80s with a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms and winds up to 12 miles per hour.

On Friday, the Ravens re-signed safety Nick Perry to their practice squad and cut offensive lineman Marcel Jones.

Below is the final injury report of the week:

BALTIMORE
OUT: TE Maxx Williams (concussion)
DOUBTFUL: WR Marlon Brown (back), OT Eugene Monroe (shoulder)
PROBABLE: DE Chris Canty (non-injury), G Kelechi Osemele (knee), LB Daryl Smith (non-injury), OT Rick Wagner (non-injury)

MIAMI
OUT: OT JA’Wuan James (toe), WR Rishard Matthews (ribs), DT Earl Mitchell (calf)
QUESTIONABLE: C Mike Pouncey (foot), WR Kenny Stills (ankle)
PROBABLE: RB Jay Ajayi (shoulder), OT Brandon Albert (non-injury), S Shamiel Gray (foot), LB Jelani Jenkins (ankle), WR Jarvis Landry (knee), LB Chris McCain (hip), LB Koa Misi (abdomen), DT Jordan Phillips (shoulder), LB Kelvin Sheppard (hamstring), TE Dion Sims (neck)

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Osemele back at practice as Ravens prepare for Miami

Posted on 02 December 2015 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Coming off a thrilling win over Cleveland on Monday night, the Ravens began making preparations for Sunday’s trip to Miami with a key member of the offensive line back at practice.

Left guard Kelechi Osemele (knee) was present and working during a light practice on Wednesday that appeared to be little more than a walk-through. The fourth-year lineman has missed Baltimore’s last two games, but his presence was a good sign as the Ravens look to win a road game against the Dolphins for the third straight year.

Left tackle Eugene Monroe (shoulder) and tight end Maxx Williams (concussion) were not present on Wednesday. Monroe missed his fifth game of the season while the rookie Williams sustained a concussion against the Browns.

Wide receiver Marlon Brown (back) observed practice, but he did not participate after missing his first game of the season in Week 12.

Preparing his team for temperatures that could reach 80 degrees in Miami on Sunday, head coach John Harbaugh turned the heat up in the Ravens’ Owings Mills field house as the Ravens practiced inside on Wednesday. Baltimore will be playing in Miami for the third consecutive year after winning road games the previous two seasons.

“We started cranking it last night, so it works its way up. But you noticed?” said Harbaugh as he laughed when asked how players reacted to the temperature. “Everybody seems comfortable. They mentioned it. Muggy, stuffy, hard to breathe — those are all the words that were used. I don’t know if there’s any science behind it, but it makes sense to me.”

The Ravens re-signed running back Terrence Magee and wide receiver Chuck Jacobs to the practice squad. Harbaugh also confirmed that the Ravens worked out former Texans quarterback Ryan Mallet, but he would not comment on how it went.

Mallet wore out his welcome with the Texans after missing a team flight in October and previously showing up late for a training camp practice, which he blamed on an alarm clock issue. The Arkansas product has a strong throwing arm, but he has never been able to put it together on the field to go along with the immaturity.

“It’s something I don’t think I’m allowed to comment on, but he was here working out,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll see where those things go as we move forward.”

The Dolphins released a crowded injury report on Wednesday as right tackle Ja’Wuan James (toe), wide receiver Rishard Matthews (ribs), defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (foot), and center Mike Pouncey (foot) all missed practice.

Below is the full injury report for Wednesday:

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR Marlon Brown (back), OT Eugene Monroe (shoulder), TE Maxx Williams (concussion)
FULL PARTICIPATION: G Kelechi Osemele (knee)

MIAMI
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: OT Branden Albert (non-injury), OT Ja’Wuan James (toe), WR Rishard Matthews (ribs), DT Earl Mitchell (calf), C Mike Pouncey (foot)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Jelani Jenkins (ankle), WR Jarvis Landry (knee), LB Koa Misi (abdomen), DT Jordan Phillips (shoulder)
FULL PARTICIPATION: RB Jay Ajayi (shoulder), S Shamiel Gray (foot), LB Chris McCain (hip), LB Kelvin Sheppard (hamstring), TE Dion Sims (neck)

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Ravens-Browns: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 30 November 2015 by Luke Jones

Once upon a time, Matt Schaub was one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, but the 34-year-old hasn’t made a start in nearly two years and has long since been forgotten by much of the football world.

After losing Joe Flacco to a season-ending knee injury last week, the Ravens have no other choice but to turn to Schaub against the Cleveland Browns on Monday night. Not only does Flacco’s streak of 137 consecutive starts (counting the postseason) officially come to an end, but Schaub will become the first not named Flacco to start at quarterback for the Ravens since Troy Smith on Dec. 30, 2007, which marked the final game for both Hall of Fame left tackle Jonathan Ogden and Super Bowl XXXV winning coach Brian Billick.

Of course, Flacco headlines a list of season-ending injuries to key Baltimore starters that includes wide receivers Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman, linebacker Terrell Suggs, running back Justin Forsett, and center Jeremy Zuttah. To make matters worse, the Ravens will be without starting left tackle Eugene Monroe (shoulder) and left guard Kelechi Osemele (knee) against the Browns after both were listed as doubtful on the final injury report.

James Hurst will start at left tackle while Ryan Jensen will receive his second straight start in place of the injured Osemele, leaving little experience protecting Schaub’s blindside in his first start since Dec. 29, 2013, his final game with the Houston Texans.

Former Browns running back and Towson standout Terrance West is active and will play in his first game for his hometown team. The 2014 third-round pick is expected to back up rookie Buck Allen, who is making his first NFL start in place of the injured Forsett.

As expected, second-year defensive end Brent Urban will make his NFL debut after being activated from the injured reserve list late last week. Urban suffered a torn biceps in early August and was placed on IR with the designation to return at the start of the season. The 2014 fourth-round pick missed his entire rookie season due to a knee injury suffered early in his first training camp.

With Urban active, rookie defensive lineman Carl Davis is a healthy scratch for the first time this season after seeing his playing time decrease in recent weeks.

Rookie wide receiver Daniel Brown and rookie guard Kaleb Johnson are also active after being promoted to the 53-man roster from the practice squad earlier in the day.

As expected, third-year receiver Marlon Brown was deactivated with a back injury.

The Browns are dealing with their own share of injuries as cornerback Joe Haden, starting guard Joel Bitonio, and wide receivers Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel were among their inactives. The recently-demoted Johnny Manziel is active, however, and will serve as Cleveland’s No. 3 quarterback behind new starter Josh McCown and backup Austin Davis.

Monday night’s referee will be Brad Allen.

According to Weather.com, the Monday night forecast in Cleveland calls for cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid-40s with winds up to nine miler per hour.

Baltimore will wear white jerseys with black pants while the Browns sport brown jerseys with orange pants for their rare nationally-televised home game.

Monday marks the 34th overall meeting between these AFC North foes with Baltimore holding a 24-9 advantage. However, the Browns are seeking their first season sweep of the Ravens since 2007, which also happened to be Baltimore’s last losing season.

Ogden, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, and Flacco are arguably the best — or at least the most important — players in franchise history, but Monday marks the first time the Ravens ever play a game without any of them on the field.

Below are Monday night’s inactives:

BALTIMORE
WR Marlon Brown
CB Tray Walker
CB Cassius Vaughn
OT Eugene Monroe
G Kelechi Osemele
DT Carl Davis
DE Kapron Lewis-Moore

CLEVELAND
WR Andrew Hawkins
WR Taylor Gabriel
CB Joe Haden
CB Pierre Desir
S Don Jones
G Joel Bitonio
DL Randy Starks

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Osemele, Monroe doubtful to play against Cleveland

Posted on 28 November 2015 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Playing in their first game without franchise quarterback Joe Flacco since 2007, the Ravens offensive line will be far less than 100 percent for Matt Schaub against Cleveland on Monday night.

On the final injury report of the week, starting left guard Kelechi Osemele (knee) and starting left tackle Eugene Monroe (shoulder) were both listed as doubtful to play against the Browns. Though estimated as a limited participant on Thursday’s injury report — a day on which the Ravens didn’t practice due to the Thanksgiving holiday — Osemele did not take part in any practices this week after already missing last Sunday’s game against St. Louis.

Monroe hasn’t taken part in practices all week after re-injuring his shoulder in the third quarter of the Rams game. The veteran offensive tackle has already missed four games and parts of three others in an injury-plagued 2015 campaign.

“The guys who haven’t practiced, they have reps; they can play,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “We’ll just get them to Monday night — we have an extra day — and see how they’re doing, see where we’re at, and if they can play, they will. That’s the kind of guys they are, and if they can’t, the next guys are ready to play. It’s a cohesive group. I’m not too worried about the [offensive] line at all. It’s a cohesive group, we have depth, and no matter who is playing is going to play really well.”

Should the pair not be able to play, the Ravens would start James Hurst at left tackle and Ryan Jensen at left guard. Of course, it was Hurst who rolled into Flacco’s left knee to cause a season-ending injury on the final drive of last week’s win over St. Louis.

Baltimore would likely need to add another healthy offensive lineman to the 53-man roster, meaning guards Kaleb Johnson and Robert Myers could be candidates to promote from the practice squad. With Monroe and Osemele injury, the Ravens have just six healthy offensive linemen on the current roster.

They listed No. 3 cornerback Shareece Wright as questionable after a back issue flared up on Friday. He did not take part in Saturday’s practice and would likely be replaced by veteran Kyle Arrington in the nickel package if he cannot play.

A disappointing season continues for wide receiver Marlon Brown, who was listed as doubtful with a back injury after not practicing all week. The third-year wideout played a season-low four offensive snaps in Week 11 and has become a complete afterthought in the Ravens’ passing game after beginning the year as the No. 3 receiver.

Rookie tight end Nick Boyle (foot) is probable to play against Cleveland after missing the first game of his NFL career last week.

Tight end Chase Ford (shoulder) was also listed as doubtful for Monday’s game after failing to participate in Saturday’s practice.

Meanwhile, the Browns officially ruled out Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden and wide receivers Taylor Gabriel and Andrew Hawkins with concussions. Veteran defensive end Randy Starks was also declared out with a knee injury.

Below is the final full injury report of the week:

BALTIMORE
DOUBTFUL: WR Marlon Brown (back), TE Chase Ford (shoulder), T Eugene Monroe (shoulder), G Kelechi Osemele (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Shareece Wright (back)
PROBABLE: TE Nick Boyle (foot)

CLEVELAND
OUT: WR Taylor Gabriel (concussion), CB Joe Haden (concussion), WR Andrew Hawkins (concussion), DE Randy Starks (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: G Joel Bitonio (ankle), LB Nate Orchard (groin)
PROBABLE: QB Johnny Manziel (right elbow), QB Josh McCown (ribs), S Donte Whitner (concussion)

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Ravens officially place Forsett on IR, activate Urban

Posted on 27 November 2015 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — What was a formality became official on Friday when the Ravens placed running back Justin Forsett on injured reserve and elevated defensive end Brent Urban to the 53-man roster.

Forsett suffered a broken right forearm in Sunday’s win over St. Louis. The injury will sidelined him for the rest of the season, but the 30-year-old is expected to be ready to participate in the Ravens’ offseason workout program.

Head coach John Harbaugh said earlier in the week that Urban would be activated from injured reserve with the designation to return. The second-year defensive lineman suffered a torn biceps in early August, but he began a 21-day practice window on Nov. 9 and needed to be placed on the 53-man roster by Monday.

Returning to the practice field after the Thanksgiving holiday, the Ravens again were without the starting left side of their offensive line as tackle Eugene Monroe (shoulder) and guard Kelechi Osemele (knee) were both absent on Friday. Should the pair not be able to play against Cleveland on Monday night, the Ravens would use James Hurst at left tackle and Ryan Jensen at left guard.

“I thought he did very well. He played fast,” said offensive coordinator Marc Trestman about Jensen in his first NFL start. “I thought it was a really good start for him. And [John] Urschel moving in at center again did a very nice job as well.”

Wide receiver Marlon Brown (back) also remained sidelined with a back injury after he played just four offensive snaps against the Rams on Sunday.

The only new addition to Friday’s injury report was cornerback Shareece Wright, who was a limited participant due to a back issue.

Tight end Nick Boyle (foot) was again practicing fully after missing his first game of the season in Week 11.

The Browns continued to practice without several key players, but starting guard Joel Bitonio (ankle) participated on a limited basis on Friday.

Below is Friday’s full injury report:

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR Marlon Brown (back), OT Eugene Monroe (shoulder), G Kelechi Osemele (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: CB Shareece Wright (back)
FULL PARTICIPATION: TE Nick Boyle (foot)

CLEVELAND
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR Taylor Gabriel (concussion), CB Joe Haden (concussion), WR Andrew Hawkins (concussion), DE Randy Starks (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: G Joel Bitonio (ankle)
FULL PARTICIPATION: QB Johnny Manziel (right elbow), QB Josh McCown (ribs), S Donte Whitner (concussion)

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