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Kruger, McPhee questionable for Sunday’s game in Philadelphia

Posted on 14 September 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Defensive end Pernell McPhee and linebacker Paul Kruger were listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Eagles after both practiced for the first time all week on Friday.

Both players worked on a limited basis as McPhee sported a bulky brace on his right knee and appeared to be limited as he went through positional drills during the portion of practice open to the media. The second-year defensive end said Thursday that he expects to play against the Eagles.

Kruger has dealt with a back injury stemming from Monday night’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He was one of the final players to walk out to the field and seemed to be moving fairly well as he went through individual drills. The fourth-year linebacker said he felt much better after practice.

“I’m hoping it loosens up even more before the game,” said Kruger, who expressed optimism for playing Sunday. “I’ve got a couple days left. I’ve got to keep the legs moving and loosen the back up. I’m just trying to stay on top of it and get it fully ready by Sunday.”

Should McPhee and Kruger be unable to play, it opens the door for third-year defensive lineman Arthur Jones to start at defensive end while rookie Courtney Upshaw would presumably get the start at the strongside linebacker position.

Coach John Harbaugh would not provide any information or thoughts regarding the status of either player as he reminded media of his instructions that discourage players from discussing injuries.

“I don’t really have any thought on it,” said Harbaugh when asked whether the two would be game-time decisions. “The buses will pull up at one o’clock. All of our guys will be there, they will get out of the bus, and then we’ll see what happens.”

Free safety Ed Reed (hamstring) was listed as probable after practicing for the third straight day. The 34-year-old indicated after Monday’s game he would be ready to play against Philadelphia and all signs point to that being the case barring an unforeseen setback.

Center Matt Birk (thight) was also listed as probable on the final injury report of the week and will play against the Eagles. Both he and Reed practiced fully on Friday.

Offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf) has been ruled out after observing practicing Friday but not working with the offensive linemen as he continues to rehab the same injury that’s plagued him since June’s mandatory minicamp.

Meanwhile, the Eagles received good news Friday as starting wide receivers DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Jeremy Maclin (hip) practiced on a limited basis. Both were listed as questionable for Friday’s game, but Maclin told reporters he plans to play.

Per their official site, the Eagles will wear white jerseys on Sunday, meaning Baltimore will wear its purple jerseys on the road.

The referee for Sunday’s game is replacement official Robert Frazer, who worked the Bills-Jets game last Sunday.

The Ravens will conduct a walk-through Saturday morning before traveling to Philadelphia for their 1 p.m. game at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday afternoon.

Here is the final injury report …

OUT: T Jah Reid (leg)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Paul Kruger (back), DE Pernell McPhee (knee)
PROBABLE: C Matt Birk (thigh), S Ed Reed (thigh)

OUT: WR Riley Cooper (collarbone)
QUESTIONABLE: WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring), WR Jeremy Maclin (hip), CB Curtis Marsh (hamstring)
PROBABLE: S Colt Anderson (knee), WR Jason Avant (wrist), S Kurt Coleman (facial lacerations)

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Ravens-Bengals final injury report for Monday night

Posted on 08 September 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — As expected, the Ravens’ final injury report for Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals paints a positive picture in terms of players being available.

Offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf) was listed as doubtful and will not play in the season opener, and cornerback Asa Jackson was listed as questionable with him dealing with a gastrointestinal illness the last two days.

Safety Sean Considine was cleared for contact after suffering a concussion in the preseason and will play on Monday night.

Meanwhile, the Bengals will be without rookie coornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, who will be sidelined for much of the first half of the season with a knee injury. Starting defensive end Carlos Dunlap (knee) and backup running back Bernard Scott are doubtful for Monday’s game.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is listed as probable with a right biceps issue after the starting signal-caller was a full participant in practice all week.

DOUBTFUL: T Jah Reid (leg)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Asa Jackson (illness)
PROBABLE: S Sean Considine (head), LB Courtney Upshaw (shoulder)

OUT: CB Dre Kirkpatrick (knee)
DOUBTFUL: DE Carlos Dunlap (knee), RB Bernard Scott (hand)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Jason Allen (quad)
PROBABLE: QB Andy Dalton (right biceps), DE Robert Geathers (knee), TE Jermaine Gresham (knee), TE Donald Lee (thigh), LB Dan Skuta (head)

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Considine cleared for contact, will play Monday night

Posted on 08 September 2012 by Luke Jones

(Updated: 1:50 p.m.)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Conducting their final practice before welcoming the Cincinnati Bengals to town for the season opener on Monday night, the Ravens continued to be in good shape as it related to attendance at practice.

Safety Sean Considine (concussion) was once again practicing in his regular white practice jersey for the second straight day. Coach John Harbaugh revealed after practice the veteran has been cleared for contact and will be ready to play on Monday.

“It was definitely frustrating,” Considine said. “It wasn’t a good time period at the end of training camp thereto be dealing with a concussion like that. I took care of it. I feel a lot better now and am ready to go. I feel fortunate that I’m still around here and looking to help this team win.”

He was listed as a full participant for practices on Friday and Saturday and had been wearing a red non-contact jersey since the third preseason against the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, Considine revealed he did not sustain a second concussion as previously reported but rather he was continuing to deal with symptoms from the first one as he attempted to play against Jacksonville.

Considine and newly-signed veteran James Ihedigbo will be the primary backups to starting safeties Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard.

“Really, I probably shouldn’t have tried to play in that third game,” Considine said. “That was all on me, and I just had some symptoms come up from the original. It was one concussion. That’s definitely better than having two, so I’m not too worried about that.”

Players conducted their customary jersey swap for the final practice of the week — making it difficult to spot players — but it appeared rookie cornerback Asa Jackson (illness) was absent for the second straight day. Offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf) was on the field but not practice as he will miss Monday night’s game against the Bengals.

Jackson is dealing with gastrointestinal issues.

“We’ve all had those, so that should paint a vivid picture for everybody,” said Harbaugh, drawing laughter from media.

Wide receiver Jacoby Jones muffed a punt during the portion of practice open to the media Saturday morning, which will certainly make Ravens fans nervous after the former Houston Texan’s struggles in the divisional playoff game in Baltimore last January.

Monday’s forecast calls for a clear night with temperatures dropping into the low 60s for the prime-time affair.

With the NFL continuing to use replacement officials, Richard “Matt” Nicks will be the referee for Monday night’s game. As you’d expect, we know very little about Nicks, but he did receive assignments for all four weeks of the preseason while many replacement officials did not.

Whether that’s a good sign or not is up for debate.

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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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Yanda, five others absent from Monday’s practice

Posted on 27 August 2012 by Luke Jones

(Updated: 6:15 p.m.)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Fielding a smaller contingency of players after trimming the roster to 75 players, the Ravens were without Marshal Yanda and five others for Monday’s practice.

Yanda (knee) hasn’t worked since last Monday when he was undercut by linebacker Chavis Williams. The starting right guard finished the practice but missed the Ravens’ third preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars last Thursday. Coach John Harbaugh has said on two separate occasions that the injury isn’t considered to be serious.

Offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf), wide receiver Tommy Streeter (foot), linebackers Ricky Brown (hip) and Josh Bynes (back), and safety Sean Considine (concussion) were also absent from the portion of practice open to media.

Linebacker Sergio Kindle (shoulder) appeared to be practicing without a red non-contact jersey for the first time since sustaining a stinger in the second preseason game of the summer.

“He’s not a lock, but he’s done very well,” Harbaugh said. “This game will be important for him.”

Tight ends Ed Dickson (shoulder) and Dennis Pitta were practicing on a limited basis for the second straight workout after returning to the field Saturday. To no surprise, Harbaugh squashed any lingering chance of the tight ends seeing some action Thursday night against the St. Louis Rams.

“No chance,” Harbaugh said. “No chance of that. They’re not ready for that yet.”

The Ravens officially placed linebacker Terrell Suggs (Achilles tendon) and wide receiver David Reed (knee) on the reserve physically unable to perform list, meaning both will miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season. Defensive lineman Ryan McBean (ankle), safety Emanuel Cook (leg), and linebackers Darryl Blackstock (leg) and Stevie Baggs (leg) were placed on season-ending injured reserve Monday morning.


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NFLPA rejects rule changes to IR, trade deadline

Posted on 23 August 2012 by Luke Jones

Two of the most notable rule changes passed by the NFL earlier this offseason will not go into effect for the 2012 season after all.

The NFL Players Association did not approve changes to the injured reserve list and the trade deadline, meaning there will not be an injured-player exemption or a later deadline for making trades for at least another season.

The IR rule change passed in May would have provided teams with the opportunity to place one player on injured reserve — thus saving a spot on the 53-man roster — with the option of activating that player for the second half of the season. Under current league rules, any player placed on IR is lost for the season.

Owners had also voted to move the trade deadline back two weeks from the end of the sixth week of the regular season to the Tuesday of Week 8 at 4 p.m. ET.

According to the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, the NFLPA had to approve both rule changes for them to take effect.

According to a FOXSports.com report, the new rules were linked to alterations to in-season practice rules, which led to the union voting against them.

The news doesn’t really impact the Ravens for this season as injured linebacker Terrell Suggs is eligible to begin the season on the reserve non-football injury list, which would sideline him for the first six weeks of the season while allowing the team to replace him on the 53-man roster. After Week 6 of the regular season, Suggs will have a three-week window to begin practicing before the Ravens must then determine whether to place him on the 53-man roster or keep him on the list, which would then end his season.

The same conditions apply to wide receiver and return specialist David Reed, who remains on the active physically unable to perform list as he continues to rehab the surgically-repaired ACL in his left knee.

If approved by the NFLPA, the IR exemption could have applied to defensive lineman Ryan McBean if the prognosis for his fractured ankle would have suggested a potential return midway through the season. Of course, McBean underwent ankle surgery and will miss the rest of the season.

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Ravens-Lions pre-game notes and inactives

Posted on 17 August 2012 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Playing the first of two preseason games at M&T Bank Stadium this month, the Ravens welcome the Detroit Lions to town as the two teams will meet for the third time ever in the preseason.

Baltimore owns a 2-0 advantage over the Lions in the preseason and is 2-1 in the regular-season series, with the most recent matchup taking place in 2009 when the Ravens won by a staggering 48-3 margin. This is the first preseason meeting between the teams since 2004.

There were no real surprises among the Baltimore inactives though many thought offensive lineman Jah Reid might get his first action of the preseason. Wide receiver Torrey Smith (ankle), cornerback Jimmy Smith (back), linebacker Courtney Upshaw (shoulder), and running back Bernard Pierce (hamstring) are all active, but it remains to be seen how much they’ll play.

(Update 7:30 p.m. — It appears that Torrey Smith will not play as he’s dressed in street clothes as the wide receivers go through pre-game warmups.)

Here are tonight’s inactives:

WR David Reed
LB Josh Bynes
LB Darryl Blackstock
LB Terrell Suggs
OT Jah Reid
TE Ed Dickson
WR Devin Goda
TE Dennis Pitta
DT Ryan McBean

RB Mikel Leshoure
S Louis Delmas
CB Chris Greenwood
CB Drew Coleman
RB Jahvid Best
OT Jonathan Scott
DT Sammie Hill
DE Kyle Vanden Bosch

Follow WNST on Twitter HERE throughout the evening as I bring the latest updates and analysis from M&T Bank. Stadium.

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Veteran guard Williams dealing with swollen ankle

Posted on 13 August 2012 by Luke Jones

(Updated: 5:45 p.m.)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Just when you think the Ravens are getting healthier with players returning to action, a new batch of injury concerns arises as there were four new absences on Monday afternoon.

Offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf) was activated from the active physically unable to perform list as he took the practice field for the first time during training camp. Reid was carted off the field with a calf injury on the final day of the Ravens’ mandatory minicamp on June 14 and suffered a setback shortly before the start of camp in late July.

The second-year lineman worked at right tackle with the second offense as the Ravens practiced in helmets, shells, and shorts on Monday. He will work at both guard and tackle as the coaching staff prefers to see how versatile he can be along the offensive line.

“It was a good start for him, and he got through most of the practice I believe,” coach John Harbaugh said. “He didn’t seem to have negative effects, so that was a good start for him, too.”

Wide receiver Tandon Doss (hamstring)) and cornerback Chykie Brown (hamstring) also returned to the practice field.

Meanwhile, defensive end Pernell McPhee, left guard Bobbie Williams, and wide receivers Jacoby Jones and Devin Goda didn’t participate in Monday’s workout. McPhee began the season on the active PUP list after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in the spring, but the second-year defensive lineman had declared himself to be 100 percent after Sunday’s practice in Annapolis.

Jones appeared to be dealing with a nagging leg issue during practice Sunday but finished the workout.

Williams is dealing with swelling in his right ankle and will also sit out Tuesday’s practice, according to Harbaugh. The 35-year-old guard missed the final three games of the 2011 season in Cincinnati after he fractured the ankle in Week 14.

“He’s really been working hard, but he needs [rest] and it will be good for him and it will help him,” Harbaugh said. “Now, you have an opportunity with that spot there to roll some guys in and move some guys around. It works out real well.”

In Williams’ absence, Bryant McKinnie worked at left tackle with the starting line while Michael Oher returned to the right tackle spot he manned last season. However, the most interesting move was rookie Kelechi Osemele occupying the left guard position, a spot he hasn’t worked during opening practices since organized team activities.

Tight ends Ed Dickson (shoulder) and Dennis Pitta (hand), cornerback Asa Jackson (hamstring), wide receiver David Reed (knee – active PUP list), defensive lineman Ryan McBean (ankle), and linebackers Josh Bynes (back), Darryl Blackstock (groin), and Terrell Suggs (Achilles tendon – non-football injury list) were also absent from Monday’s practice.


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Birk to receive frequent days off; no change in McKinnie’s status

Posted on 31 July 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens continued to deal with absences on both the offensive and defensive lines as they took the practice field on Tuesday.

In addition to left tackle Bryant McKinnie — who continues to be held out of practice with a lower back injury and hasn’t taken the team’s conditioning test — center Matt Birk was given off practice for the second straight day. Entering his 15th season, the 36-year-old will receive frequent rest throughout the preseason in a move that will allow the Ravens to further evaluate rookie Gino Gradkowski and young interior lineman Justin Boren.

“Matt is at a stage of his career where probably he’s going to practice less than he’s not going to practice,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I think that would be the best thing for Matt getting ready to go.”

Offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf) continues to be held out of practice while he’s on the active physically unable to perform list.

On the defensive line, the Ravens continue to be without All-Pro lineman Haloti Ngata (hamstring) and defensive end Pernell McPhee (knee), but veteran defensive tackle Ma’ake Kemoeatu joined them as a non-participant as he was given a day off as a member of the “30-and-over” club.

Outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw (bruised shoulder), wide receivers Tandon Doss (hamstring) and David Reed (knee), linebacker Terrell Suggs (Achilles tendon), and tight end Dennis Pitta (broken hand) were also absent. Pitta underwent surgery on Tuesday and is expected to be back for the Ravens’ season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 10.

Rookie running back Bernard Pierce and linebacker Josh Bynes were also new additions to the list of players missing from practice. Pierce is dealing with a hamstring tweak, and his girlfriend is also expecting their first child.

Despite a plethora of missing players on Tuesday, the Ravens saw three players return to action in wide receivers Tommy Streeter and Devin Goda and offensive tackle Ramon Harewood.

Wide receiver LaQuan Williams left practice late in the session, but whatever was ailing him is not considered to be a concern.

Maryland football coach Randy Edsall was attending practice on Tuesday.

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from John Harbaugh, linebacker Paul Kruger, and linebackers coach Ted Monachino HERE.

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New G Williams, Ravens brought together by familiarity

Posted on 29 July 2012 by Ryan Chell

The Ravens have made it a habit over the years to grab veteran offensive lineman late in free agency or training camp to not only bring experience, but to also have that key backup in case an injury should occur to solidify that same offensive line.

Last year, it was Andre Gurode, who started several games for the injured Ben Grubbs. In 2008, it was Willie Anderson who saw action at right tackle.

This season, with the team reeling from the loss of Grubbs at the left guard position to free agency-as well as Gurode’s dismissal, the Ravens felt like they needed to keep up with that tradition.

And they did just that at the beginning of June, signing former Bengals and Eagles guard Bobbie Williams to a two-year contract.

Williams is adjusting to the atmosphere in Owings Mills, but he’s confident that he’ll fit right in with training camp the first opportunity to do so.

“I’m just taking it all in,” Williams said after practice Saturday. “I’ve been rolling for a week. I came in when the young guys came in, and it was good that I did that so I could get that advantage and get things going. We’re just hitting all cylinders now.”

Williams had spent the last eight seasons with the Bengals, and the 35-year old has started 130 games in his 12-year NFL career.

The Ravens certainly felt like they made the right decision by bringing in a stable and dependable Williams in with the early shuffling of their offensive line in camp.

When he was signed on June 8th, Williams was at first expected to battle for the left guard position with Ravens 2nd round pick Kelechi Osemele and second-year man Jah Reid.

However, both started off training camp with back and calf injuries respectively, and Williams was told to line up and clear the way for newly-paid running back Ray Rice.

Coach Harbaugh earlier in the week said that Williams has already made them forget about Ben Grubbs, and Harbaugh attributed that to his tremendous work ethic.

Those were strong words according to Williams.

“I’m just appreciative that they respect me on that level. I don’t plan on letting anyone down, including myself, and the good Lord.”

Williams said that when he came in, he was told that a spot wasn’t going to be given to him. And despite it looking that way, he still wants to prove himself to Coach John Harbaugh and the coaching staff.

“I came in with the attitude to work-period. And it ain’t going to leave. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but it ain’t going to leave till February…let’s just put it that way.”

Williams remembers Coach Harbaugh from Harbaugh’s time as a special teams coach with the Eagles-who drafted Williams in the 2nd round of 2000 NFL Draft-and said that he has always been “a player’s coach.”

And the way Williams talks about offensive line Coach Andy Moeller-you would think they have been around each other for a lifetime-not two months.

“I’m used to the coaching staff and the guys around me. It’s a great group and I’m not just saying that.” And Coach Moeller man-I think the world of him. He’s a real teacher of the game. I truly respect him and his knowledge of the game. And that’s very key.”

He may have that familiarity with his coaches, but many are certain that the Ravens brought Williams in given his time with their AFC North rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals.

That kind of insight into an opposing locker room’s scheme could do wonders for a defensive coordinator, and the fact that he knows the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers blitz packages from seeing them 4 times a year the past eight seasons, that can only be added bonus.

“That might have played a little part of it knowing the division,” Williams laughed.”

But Williams said it could also be the exact opposite. The Ravens knew who he was from having to get past him to sack Carson Palmer or Andy Dalton for nearly a decade, and they wanted that kind of “lunch pail” attitude on their line.

To “Play like a Raven”, as the theme points out.

“I also know what kind of team this is, Williams said. “I know that the Baltimore Ravens are a tough, blue collar, hard-working team and they felt I could contribute to that and that I have some of those same qualities. They said, ‘Hey, we know this guy can play here’.”

And with a newly-paid running back in Ray Rice in the backfield and with an offense that lives and dies by his yardage, Williams says he’s the perfect guy to clear those holes for Rice.

“It’s what I’ve always been known to do. I’ve always been that hard-nosed, dependable guy that will get down and dirty and likes contact. I like to be physical. I like to get my hands on people.”

He said all it takes for him to get to that level is getting comfortable with the guys lining up next to him at left tackle and center.

“I’ve got to get familiar with my center. And then my left tackle. I’ve been leaning heavily on Matt Birk and Michael Oher. I sit next to Marshal Yanda in meetings and I’ve asked him some things.”

But obviously, with left tackle Bryant McKinnie not in camp so far-but yet announcing he would report Monday for his first practice-he may have to start all over again with that level of comfort with those playing next to him.

But Williams says that’s no problem at all. McKinnie’s addition to this offensive line finally-much like his own signing by the Ravens-only improves their chances of success.

“Whatever we have, we’re working with that and we’re doing a pretty good job. If another piece is added like I was added, it makes us even better.”

And even if things remain as they are, Williams is still confident that this team can do some special things this season. It’s one of the reasons he signed with the Ravens in the first place.

“That’s just the nature of the game. You learn the ropes and you learn to make do with what you had. You learn to make that work. And you go out there and solidify that.”

And the chance to win a ring? Any way I can help with that, I’m there.”

Thanks to Bobbie Williams for chatting with me after practice today! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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