Tag Archive | "Jameel McClain"

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We’ve got one incredibly big event left in our annual coat drive

Posted on 15 December 2013 by Glenn Clark

Perhaps this week should be renamed “Buffalo Wild Wings Week” at WNST.

We’ll be at BWW locations throughout the area this week for various major events all leading up to the culmination of our annual coat drive here at WNST, which this year is benefitting The Helping Up Mission downtown and Goodwill of Maryland.

And this Thursday night is our big event.

Come out to Buffalo Wild Wings White Marsh Thursday night for our annual holiday coat drive event. The whole WNST.net crew (Drew Forrester, Luke Jones, Glenn Clark, Ryan Chell, Nestor Aparicio and more) will be there hanging out enjoying a cold beer and chatting about all things Baltimore sports.

We need coats, but we also need jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, gloves, mittens, hats, snow pants, scarves, boots, earmuffs and anything else you can think of to help keep folks warm this Holiday season. We need them for men, for women, for kids, even for babies. New or previously owned, we need as many as you can bring.

Everyone who brings at least five winter weather gear items (pairs of gloves count as one item) Thursday night we win one of our many giveaways. Our giveaways include…

Roughly 10 of the above pictured “Crush” t-shirts. Sure the Baltimore Orioles don’t have any new players, but he’s still pretty good.

There are roughly 15-20 footballs in this box (footballs provided by Freedmont Mortgage) signed by some of your favorite Baltimore Ravens, including Jameel McClain, Chris Canty, Marlon Brown, Eugene Monroe, Morgan Cox and Jacoby Jones.

We also have four pairs of tickets to see Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime at Rams Head Live in January.

Again, five or more winter weather gear items gets you one of the above items while supplies last. Everyone who brings out even ONE coat will get a $5 gift certificate from Buffalo Wild Wings to take care of their first eight boneless wings that night. And everyone who brings two or more coats will be registered to win a pair of tickets to WWE “Monday Night RAW” at Baltimore Arena January 6th.

PLUS, we have two copies of the recent “Baltimore’s First Raven” Hall of Fame retrospective magazine signed by Jonathan Ogden. The first two people to bring us 20 or more winter weather items will receive those.

You guys have always come through for us in the past. We need you to come through once more before we make the coat donation Christmas week. There are a lot of people that need help in our community this holiday season. Please help us help them while we enjoy yet another run towards the postseason from the Ravens. Get your holiday shopping done while you’re out.

It’s going to be a great week throughout the WNST community. We can’t wait to see you.


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Peterson first of big names Ravens must stop in final month

Posted on 04 December 2013 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Even if they’re fortunate enough to only play him once every four years, the Ravens are fully aware of the greatness of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

In fact, Peterson is only the first of several of the NFL’s best the Ravens must stop over the final month of the season to advance to the postseason for the sixth consecutive season under coach John Harbaugh.

Next week, the Ravens take on Detroit’s Calvin Johnson, the undisputed best wide receiver on the planet today. The week after, it’s one of the best quarterbacks in league history in Tom Brady. And if the Ravens can get past the first three while remaining upright in terms of their postseason fate, Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green awaits in the regular-season finale.

No sweat, right?

But the Ravens can only focus on Peterson and Minnesota for now with all discussion of Sunday’s game centered around stopping the five-time Pro Bowl running back and 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player. Peterson leads the league with 1,208 rushing yards after collecting more than 2,000 on the ground last year coming off a torn ACL at the end of the 2011 season.

“What’s his nickname, ‘All Day?'” linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “The man runs hard all day. It’s going to be interesting. It’s definitely a challenge for us, and we’re really looking forward to it. We’ll have to see what’s up on Sunday.”

Only a handful of defensive players remain on the roster from the last time the Ravens took on Peterson and the Vikings at the Metrodome in 2009, but the memory of the 6-foot-1, 217-yard back rushing for 143 yards on 22 carries was a difficult one for a defense that prides itself on stopping the run. Baltimore has allowed over 100 rushing yards in six of its 12 games, but only one of those contests resulted in an individual century-mark rusher as Green Bay’s Eddie Lacy ran for 120 yards in Week 6.

Aside from a four-week stretch earlier this season when the Ravens allowed 140 or more rushing yards three times — against Buffalo, the Packers, and Pittsburgh — the run defense has been strong, ranking sixth in the league by allowing 100.1 rushing yards per game. Dean Pees’ unit has allowed only 3.7 yards per carry, but the Ravens haven’t faced a back with Peterson’s incredibly rare combination of speed, size, toughness, and agility.

In addition to following gap assignments and simply staying home to protect against cutbacks, the common theme expressed by the Ravens Wednesday was the need to gang-tackle to neutralize Peterson’s ability to shed defenders. According to Pro Football Focus, he leads the league with 801 yards after contact, which is over 200 more than second-place Marshawn Lynch of Seattle.

“Everybody has to tackle. You have to have a whole defensive effort,” cornerback Lardarius Webb said. “Everybody needs to run to the ball. One guy doesn’t usually bring him down. He’s one of those backs that can change the game on any play.”

The numbers support that sentiment as Peterson is averaging 3.1 yards per attempt after contact this season; the Ravens’ struggling running game collects only 2.9 yards overall per carry.

As if his reputation for being a bruising running back that breaks tackles wasn’t enough, Peterson is also tied for second in the NFL with eight runs of 20 or more yards. Suggs recalled a 58-yard run Peterson collected in the Vikings’ 33-31 win in 2009 and how scary it can be to see him find the second and third levels of the defense.

“It’s not a good scene when you’re behind [No.] 28,” Suggs said. “You just hope you’ve got somebody fast enough on the team to catch the guy. But if you keep him in front of you, then you’ve got a good chance of containing him.”

Of course, even with Peterson, the Vikings are 3-8-1 and possess the league’s 25th-ranked passing game as the quarterbacking trio of Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, and Josh Freeman have been unable to generate any consistency through the air. The Vikings’ passing game ineptitude has allowed teams to put eight men in the box far too often, making it likely that safeties James Ihedigbo and Matt Elam will take turns playing close to the line of scrimmage in an effort to slow the intimidating back.

Such defensive looks make it even more impressive that Peterson is leading the league in rushing for the second straight year with not much help behind him in terms of a passing game.

With Ponder not expected to start while recovering from a concussion, the Ravens will likely see Cassel under center, a signal-caller they harassed incessantly in a 2010 wild-card victory against Kansas City. Baltimore is saying all the right things about the Vikings’ talented trio of wide receivers in former Packer Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson, and rookie Cordarrelle Patterson, but the numbers suggest that a huge day from Peterson is the Vikings’ only realistic hope for an upset on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

“He’s a threat every time he touches the ball, so we’ll have our hands full,” Harbaugh said. “But it just can’t be that. You can’t sleep on the rest of their talent. They’ve got a number of very good tight ends that can make plays. They’ve got a number of very talented receivers that can make plays. They are a fully complemented offense talent-wise.”

The key word is containment as Peterson has only been held under 75 rushing yards four times this season. The Vikings running back is too talented not to get his yards, but the Ravens must prevent him from going off like he did last week against the Bears for over 200 rushing yards in an overtime win.

The overall Week 14 competition is underwhelming for the Ravens as they begin the final quarter of the season on Sunday, but Peterson is just the first of several big names that lie in their path to the postseason.

It doesn’t get any easier after that with Detroit, New England, and Cincinnati looming after that.

“Isn’t that everybody’s motivation? You get the chance to go up against the best,” linebacker Jameel McClain said. “We get the opportunity this week to go up against one of the best running backs, and then the week after that, we get a chance [against] one of the better receivers in the league. It’s everybody’s motivation to come and bring their ‘A’ game. We wouldn’t be in this game if we weren’t trying to compete with the best.”

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McClain named Ravens’ Ed Block Courage Award recipient

Posted on 03 December 2013 by WNST Staff

LB Jameel McClain is voted the 2013 Baltimore Ravens Ed Block Courage Award recipient.


December 4th, 2013 – Baltimore, Md. – The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation has announced that LB Jameel McClain is the recipient of the 2013 Ed Block Courage Award for the Baltimore Ravens. McClain suffered a spinal cord contusion in Baltimore’s 2012 week 13 game against the Washington Redskins. Jameel was placed on IR and was told by at least one doctor that he would never play the game of football again. McClain never lost belief in his ability to recover from his injury. He was placed on the PUP list to start the 2013 season. After sitting out the required six weeks he returned to action in week seven against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“People counted me out,” McClain stated. “I was told I’d never play again and that I should focus on life after football. But I wasn’t going to succumb. All I could do was believe in myself, which I’ve always done. I fought the odds before, and I’ll fight the odds again. I’ve always believed in myself and tuned out the negativity. If you look now, I’m still here – still doing what I love and fighting for my team.”
Off the field, McClain is highly active in the Baltimore community. Since arriving in Baltimore, McClain has forged a strong relationship with the Salvation Army Baltimore Area Command. McClain, who spent a period of his lifetime living out of a Salvation Army shelter, makes a conscious effort to give back to the organization. Annually, McClain hosts 53 Families, a Thanksgiving food drive, and kicks off the annual Red Kettle Campaign as its spokesperson.

The Courage Award is named after Ed Block, the longtime head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts who was a pioneer in his profession and a respected humanitarian. Some of his most significant contributions came in the tireless manner in which he gave of himself to help improve the lives of children. He stood for courage and championed the cause of those whodisplayed that characteristic. His work and philosophy continue today through the Foundation that bears his name.The Foundation’s efforts are endorsed by the NFL and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS).

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Harbaugh won’t hesitate to make roster changes to get better

Posted on 21 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Entering the bye week with the Ravens sporting a losing record this late in the season for the first time in his six-year tenure, it was clear head coach John Harbaugh wasn’t in a jovial mood while meeting with reporters on Monday.

Offering short answers with little elaboration on several occasions, Harbaugh made it clear that the Ravens need to improve in every phase of the game after a 3-4 start to the season. After the Ravens traded the recently-demoted left tackle Bryant McKinnie to the Miami Dolphins earlier in the day, the Baltimore coach said his team will explore every channel — internally or externally — to turn around a season that now includes a two-game deficit with AFC North-leading Cincinnati.

“We’re going to do whatever it takes,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll trade guys. We’ll cut guys. We’ll sign guys. We’ll coach guys. We’ll change schemes. It doesn’t matter. We’re going to find a way to get better. That’s the business we’re in.”

The issues with the running game and offensive line are well-documented through the first seven weeks of the season, but Harbaugh was critical of a running game that surrendered 141 yards on the ground in Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their AFC North foe entered Week 7 averaging just 61 rushing yards per game, but the Ravens gave up at least 140 yards on the ground for the third time in four games.

Harbaugh was even more critical of Jerry Rosburg’s special-teams units after reserve safety Jeromy Miles was offside on Justin Tucker’s failed onside kick attempt with 13:04 remaining in the fourth quarter and the kickoff team lost outside containment on Steelers returner Emmanuel Sanders 44-yard kickoff return to set up Pittsburgh at its 37 to begin its final drive that resulted in a game-winning field goal. Realistically speaking, the Ravens could make a few changes to impact their special teams more easily than finding impact players on the offensive or defensive side of the ball.

Disappointing free safety Michael Huff was one of several players who failed to hold outside contain on that final kick return and was limited to just five special-teams plays on Sunday after he was initially signed to a three-year, $6 million contract to serve as the team’s starting free safety. He was benched after the season opener and has made little impact on special teams while playing sparingly in the Ravens’ dime package.

“We’ve got to play better on special teams; we’re going to go find some guys that want to play special teams,” Harbaugh said. “We’re not going to have guys out there letting the ball run outside of them; that’s unheard of. We’re not going to run a surprise onside kick and not know what we’re doing; we’ll go to work on that. If it means changing people out, then that’s what we’ll do.”

Like last year, the Ravens will enjoy their bye during Week 8, but their 3-4 record has prompted plenty of frustration. Baltimore didn’t exactly enter last year’s bye on a high note after the Houston Texans dismantled them in a 43-13 final, but a 5-2 record was easier to swallow.

Players will continue to put in work at the team’s Owings Mills facility through Wednesday afternoon before being dismissed for four straight days off as mandated by the collective bargaining agreement.

“The biggest difference between last year and this year right now is that we’ve lost the close games,” Harbaugh said. “Last year, we won the close games. We’ve got to get hot a little bit and win some close games. It’s going to be a long season, and we have an opportunity going forward. We’ve just got to become a good football team.”

Osemele playing through back ailment

Struggling left guard Kelechi Osemele told Sports Illustrated after Sunday’s game that he is dealing with a disc problem in his back that will require surgery in the offseason, prompting questions about the second-year lineman’s health.

Osemele missed most of the Ravens’ Week 5 win over Miami as he dealt with back spasms that surfaced during pre-game warmups, but the 2012 second-round pick appears to be pushing through the injury for now.

“Most players in the league have something along those lines that way, so he fights through it,” said Harbaugh, who was initially dismissive of the report but didn’t firmly address whether surgery would be in order. “He had the same issue last year [and] he fought through it last year. All the guys have things like that. All those things get addressed in the offseason if it needed to be addressed. We looked at it last year — it wasn’t addressed that way. Maybe this year it will be, but I really don’t know.”

An exchange between Osemele and another Twitter user last week prompted further suspicion, but trying to draw conclusions based solely on a social media site is difficult. Both Osemele and the Ravens declined comment in requests made by WNST.net and portions of the conversation have since been deleted on the player’s verified Twitter account.

“I respect [that] K.O.’s tough. All those guys are,” Harbaugh said. “Anybody in this league that plays in this league with the physical demands that this game puts on you, you have to respect, especially those guys in the trenches. He’s no different than most of the guys that way.”

Positive review for McClain’s return

Harbaugh praised linebacker Jameel McClain’s effort in making his return to game action for the first time since suffering a spinal cord contusion on Dec. 9 of last season.

Filling in for the injured Josh Bynes, who underwent surgery on an infected finger late last week, McClain played 30 defensive snaps and collected five tackles while also serving on some special-teams units. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees said last week that McClain would be the team’s weakside inside linebacker upon being activated, so it will be interesting to see how both McClain and Bynes fit into the defensive plans when they’re both healthy.

“Given the circumstances, [he] probably played really well,” Harbaugh said. “[He] hadn’t played for a long time, hadn’t practiced much, was throw into a situation because of Josh’s situation where he had to play quite a few snaps. He did a solid job, and he’s only going to get better from here on out. He came out of it healthy, so that’s important. He’ll really benefit from the next couple days of work.”

Suggs’ ‘state of emergency’

Five-time Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs provided the greatest sense of alarm following the 19-16 loss to the Steelers, describing the Ravens as being in “a state of emergency” as they enter the bye week.

Harbaugh didn’t express agreement with those words but echoed the sentiment he shared last week in which he thought some frustration to get better was a positive for his struggling team. Suggs said he was very concerned and that the Ravens could no longer kid themselves over the seriousness of their problems in every phase of the game.

“All the guys have a right to say whatever they think,” Harbaugh said. “If that is how Terrell sees it, then that’s good. A sense of urgency is a good thing.”

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Ravens-Steelers: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 20 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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

PITTSBURGH — Aiming to enter their bye week on a positive note while also burying their biggest rival even further, the Ravens travel to Heinz Field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday afternoon.

Baltimore has won three consecutive regular-season games in Pittsburgh and will try to avoid falling below the .500 mark this late in the season for the first time in the John Harbaugh era. Meanwhile, the Steelers are coming off their first win of the season last week and can improve to 2-4 with a victory over their bitter rivals.

Inside linebacker Jameel McClain will make his 2013 debut against Pittsburgh as he makes his return from a spinal cord contusion suffered on Dec. 9, 2012. With starter Josh Bynes out after undergoing surgery for an infection in his finger, McClain is expected to see plenty of defensive snaps along with rookie second-round pick Arthur Brown at the weakside inside linebacker position.

For the second straight week, the Ravens have listed former starting left tackle Bryant McKinnie as inactive, meaning they will use rookie tackle Rick Wagner once again if they want to line up in a jumbo formation with a tackle-eligible blocker. McKinnie has been dealing with knee swelling for the last couple weeks but has not been listed on the injury report.

With Pittsburgh unable to move the football via the ground all season and relying more on the passing game, the Ravens have listed defensive linemen Terrence Cody and DeAngelo Tyson as inactive. Cody practiced on a limited basis all week in coming back from a knee injury suffered last month but will ultimately miss his fourth straight game.

For the Steelers, rookie outside linebacker Jarvis Jones was not cleared after suffering a concussion last week and will be inactive for Week 7. He is expected to be replaced by Jason Worilds in the Pittsburgh starting defense.

A win on Sunday would give the Ravens their 14th in their last 16 games against the AFC North and improve Harbaugh’s record to 23-9 against division opponents. It would also give the Ravens a 2-0 record against the division this season with all other AFC North teams already sporting one loss on their division mark.

Sunday marks the 38th overall time these teams have played in the last 18 years with the Steelers owning the 19-15 edge in the regular season and a 3-0 mark against the Ravens in the postseason. Of the last 10 regular-season games played between these teams, eight have been decided by three points with the Ravens and Steelers each coming away with five wins over that span.

The Ravens will wear white jerseys with black pants while Pittsburgh dons black jerseys with gold pants on Sunday. This is the first time these teams have met in Pittsburgh and not played in prime time since the 2010 season.

The referee for Sunday’s game will be Bill Leavy.

Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-50s for the 4:25 p.m. kickoff with winds up to 13 miles per hour. Unlike the many times these teams have locked up later in the season in Pittsburgh, the grass appeared to be in good shape — and actually looked green — at Heinz Field prior to kickoff.

Here are Sunday’s inactives:

LB Josh Bynes
DT Terrence Cody
OL Jah Reid
C Ryan Jensen
T Bryant McKinnie
WR Brandon Stokley
DE DeAngelo Tyson

LB Jarvis Jones
QB Landry Jones
WR Markus Wheaton
CB Curtis Brown
RB Isaac Redman
TE Richard Gordon
NT Hebron Fangupo

Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the afternoon for updates and analysis as Nestor Aparicio, Drew Forrester, and I bring live coverage from Heinz Field throughout the day.

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Ravens activate LB McClain, cut TE Bajema

Posted on 19 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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

After a 10-month absence that included plenty of outside doubt over whether he’d play football again, Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain has been activated from the physically unable to perform list and will make his return against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

To make room for McClain on the 53-man roster, the Ravens have once again released veteran tight end Billy Bajema. Coach John Harbaugh was noncommittal about the linebacker’s status for Sunday’s game, but McClain needed to be activated by 4 p.m. on Saturday to make him eligible to play against Pittsburgh.

McClain suffered a spinal cord contusion on Dec. 9, 2012 against the Washington Redskins, an injury that ended his season and put his career in jeopardy as he waited for his spinal cord to heal. However, McClain continued to work out and attend team meetings as the Ravens remained positive publicly that he would eventually be cleared.

“They tried to kill me, I’m not dead,” McClain said prior to his long-awaited return to the practice field on Wednesday. “I’m still here, still doing what I love and fighting for this team. There was so much negativity that I couldn’t afford to think negative. All I could do was believe in myself and what I was capable of doing.”

With starting inside linebacker Josh Bynes out for Sunday’s game after undergoing surgery on an infected finger, the need for McClain’s return became even greater after he had a positive week of practice without any setbacks. The sixth-year linebacker was listed as probable on the final injury report of the week despite the Ravens not needing to even include him since he wasn’t on the 53-man roster.

Defensive coordinator Dean Pees was matter-of-fact earlier in the week when asked what job McClain will fill upon being activated, which means he will likely start next to inside linebacker Daryl Smith in the base defense with rookie Arthur Brown more involved in the nickel to utilize his athleticism in pass coverage.

“‘Will’ linebacker,” said Pees about McClain’s anticipated role. “If he’s able to go, that will be John’s decision and the trainer’s and everybody else’s decision. It won’t be ours. But if he’s ready to go, we’ll be ready for him to go.”

McClain has started 45 games in his career with the Ravens after joining the organization as an undrafted rookie from Syracuse in 2008.

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Bynes out, McClain listed as probable on Ravens’ injury report

Posted on 18 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens will be forced to reshuffle their lineup at inside linebacker for Sunday’s game against the Steelers as starter Josh Bynes has been ruled out after undergoing surgery on his infect finger.

Coach John Harbaugh announced after Friday’s practice that Bynes’ infection hadn’t responded to antibiotics over the last few days, which prompted the need for him to have surgery to clean the finger out. The coach said the infection isn’t anything serious like the MRSA outbreak that’s recently plagued the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bynes suffered the cut a couple weeks ago, according to the Baltimore coach.

“We thought we’d have him back to practice Wednesday, then Thursday,” Harbaugh said. “Last night, the infection beat the antibiotics, so he had to get surgery on that finger to get it cleaned out. He’s doing fine, but that will preclude him from being able to play in this game.”

That news coupled with veteran Jameel McClain being listed as probable could lead to the Ravens returning the latter to the 53-man roster by 4 p.m. on Saturday. The sixth-year linebacker returned to the practice field earlier this week after being sidelined the last 10 months with a spinal cord contusion.

Harbaugh was noncommittal regarding McClain’s status against Pittsburgh, but the Ravens must return him to the 53-man roster by 4 p.m. on Saturday in order to play against Pittsburgh. Should McClain not play on Sunday, rookie Arthur Brown would take Bynes’ place in the starting defense next to fellow inside linebacker Daryl Smith.

“He’s up. It’s just if we want to take him off that designation and put him on the [53-man roster],” Harbaugh said. “Why don’t we just wait and see on that? I’m not prepared to make an announcement on that right now.”

Wide receiver Brandon Stokley was listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game as he missed the last two days of practice while continuing to battle a groin injury.

Stokley hasn’t played in a game since Sept. 22 as he’s dealt with the ailment and was even released a day prior to the Ravens’ win in Miami on Oct. 6 before being re-signed a few days later. With the rest of the Ravens’ group of wide receivers finally healthy, Stokley’s future in Baltimore is appearing foggier by the week.

“Brandon came out on Wednesday and got through the practice 100 percent,” Harbaugh said. “[He] came out on Thursday and didn’t feel as good. We’re continuing to rest him to try to get that right. I don’t foresee him playing in the game at this point unless something changes.”

The Ravens listed six players as questionable, including defensive tackles Haloti Ngata and Terrence Cody, linebackers Courtney Upshaw and Albert McClellan, and cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Chykie Brown. All of the aforementioned players except for McClellan practiced all week on a limited basis.

After missing Wednesday’s practice with a thigh issue, defensive end Chris Canty was designated as probable for Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Steelers listed rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones as questionable as he continues to recover from a concussion sustained in last week’s game.

Right tackle Marcus Gilbert, defensive end Brett Keisel, linebacker LaMarr Woodley, and tight end heath Miller were all listed as probable.

Here is the final injury report for the week:

OUT: LB Josh Bynes (thigh, finger)
DOUBTFUL: C Ryan Jensen (foot), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Chykie Brown (thigh), DT Terrence Cody (knee), LB Albert McClellan (shoulder), DT Haloti Ngata (elbow), LB Courtney Upshaw (foot), CB Lardarius Webb (thigh)
PROBABLE: DE Chris Canty (thigh), LB Jameel McClain (neck), DT Marcus Spears (knee)

OUT: TE Richard Gordon (toe) , WR Markus Wheaton (finger)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Jarvis Jones (concussion)
PROBABLE: T Marcus Gilbert (quad), DE Brett Keisel (abdomen), TE Heath Miller (NIR), LB LaMarr Woodley (knee)

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Bynes, McClellan absent from practice for second straight day

Posted on 17 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens continued to look in good shape from a health standpoint Thursday as linebackers Josh Bynes and Albert McClellan were the only players absent from practice.

Continuing preparations for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens saw the return of defensive end Chris Canty (thigh) to practice after he was listed as a non-participant on Wednesday’s report. It was believed that Canty simply received a day off to rest as he was upgraded to full participation on Thursday.

Bynes is dealing with an infected finger and a thigh injury, but coach John Harbaugh painted a positive prognosis for the 24-year-old linebacker prior to Wednesday’s practice. McClellan hasn’t taken part in a practice since the week leading up to the Week 4 loss in Buffalo as he continues to nurse a shoulder injury, but the special-teams standout has played in each of the last two games.

Wide receiver Brandon Stokley did not participate on Thursday after practicing fully a day earlier. He has dealt with a lingering groin injury for a few weeks.

Inside linebacker Jameel McClain was present and working for the second straight day after being cleared to return to the football field. There is no specified timetable for McClain to be moved onto the 53-man roster for game action, but he was listed as a full participant on Wednesday’s injury report as he practiced for the first time since suffering a spinal cord contusion on Dec. 9 of last year.

Techinically, the Ravens are not required to list McClain on the injury report since he isn’t part of the active roster, but his return to practice after being on the physically unable to perform list triggered the start of a 21-day window in which he may beginning practicing. At the end of the three-week period, the Ravens must place him on the 53-man roster or season-ending injured reserve. However, he can be activated sooner than that if they so choose.

Meanwhile, the Steelers’ first-round rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones was upgraded to limited participation as he continues to recover from a concussion. Reports from Pittsburgh were encouraging regarding his status for Sunday’s game at Heinz Field.

Here is the full injury report for Thursday:

DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Josh Bynes (thigh, finger), LB Albert McClellan (shoulder), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: CB Chykie Brown (thigh), DT Terrence Cody (knee), C Ryan Jensen (foot), DT Haloti Ngata (elbow), LB Courtney Upshaw (foot), CB Lardarius Webb (thigh)
FULL PARTICIPATION: DE Chris Canty (thigh), LB Jameel McClain (neck), DT Marcus Spears (knee)

OUT: WR Markus Wheaton (finger)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: TE Richard Gordon (toe)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Jarvis Jones (head), T Marcus Gilbert (quad)
FULL PARTICIPATION: DE Brett Keisel (abdomen), TE Heath Miller (non-injury related), LB LaMarr Woodley (knee)

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McClain cleared to return to practice after 10-month absence

Posted on 16 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — More than 10 months after suffering a spinal cord contusion that threatened his football future, inside linebacker Jameel McClain returned to practice on Wednesday as the Ravens continued preparations for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

McClain remains on the reserve physically unable to perform list for now, but his return to the practice field triggered the start of a 21-day window in which the sixth-year linebacker may practice. Though he may return prior to the end of the three-week period, McClain must be added to the active roster at the end of the window or placed on season-ending injured reserve.

Coach John Harbaugh confirmed that McClain has been cleared to return to the football field after recovering from a spinal cord injury suffered against the Washington Redskins on Dec. 9 of last season, but no decision has been made on his status against Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Ravens have their bye in Week 8, making it plausible that they would ease McClain back into practices this week with the thought of activating him after the bye.

“We’re going to practice Jameel McClain today,” Harbaugh said prior to practice. “He’s eligible to do that. We do not know what that means for this week, next week, or the week after. We do know that it means within three weeks that we’ve got to make a decision about whether we’d put him on the 53-man roster. We’ll just have to see how it goes with that.”

How McClain will fit within the defense remains to be seen as inside linebacker Daryl Smith has been arguably the biggest surprise of the season and has handled making the calls in the defensive huddle admirably through the first six weeks of the season. Having made 45 starts in his NFL career, McClain could potentially unseat Josh Bynes at the weakside inside linebacker spot, a position he played next to the retired Ray Lewis in past seasons.

For now, McClain is pleased to prove doubters wrong about his ability to return to football and will work to get himself back into football shape after continuing to work out and attend meetings at the team’s Owings Mills facility since he was injured late last season. The Syracuse product and Philadelphia native feels he’s ready to play right away but acknowledged that the coaches and training staff will ultimately decide when he returns to game action.

However, the itch is there for McClain to return to action with his injury fully healed.

“You understand the feeling of watching people play day in and day out,” said McClain, who admitted using his doubters as motivation to keep working hard as his spinal cord healed. “Getting to see my teammates put their pads on and go out and do work while I had to stand around and watch, it’s no doubt that I’m itching. I’m preparing myself mentally and especially physically coming into this game.”

Cody returns to practice; Bynes, Canty sidelined

In addition to McClain, defensive tackle Terrence Cody returned to the practice field on Wednesday for the first time since injuring his knee in the first quarter of the Ravens’ win over the Houston Texans on Sept. 22.

Cody has missed three straight games but practiced on a limited basis after telling reporters last week that he was moving closer to a return to action. Rookie Brandon Williams has taken Cody’s place in several defensive sub packages, which will make for an interesting competition for reps between the first-year player and Cody, who is scheduled to become a free agent after the season.

Inside linebackers Josh Bynes and Albert McClellan and defensive end Chris Canty (thigh) were absent from Wednesday’s practice, making McClain’s return a welcome sight for a lighter group of inside linebackers. While McClellan has missed the last two weeks of practice — though he’s played in each of the last two games — Harbaugh revealed that Bynes is dealing with a finger injury.

“Josh Bynes has an infection in his finger, which he cut a couple of weeks ago,” Harbaugh said. “He was actually in the hospital last night with it. He got good news. It’s good — it’s clearing up.”

Canty was present and dressed out to work during the portion of practice open to the media before being listed as a non-participant, perhaps indicating a day of rest for the veteran defensive lineman.

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (hip and elbow) was practicing after straining his elbow in the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Wednesday’s injury report

DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Josh Bynes (thigh, finger), DE Chris Canty (thigh), LB Albert McClellan (shoulder)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: CB Chykie Brown (thigh), DT Terrence Cody (knee), C Ryan Jensen (foot), DT Haloti Ngata (elbow), LB Courtney Upshaw (foot), CB Lardarius Webb (thigh)
FULL PARTICIPATION: LB Jameel McClain (neck), DT Marcus Spears (knee), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh)

OUT: WR Markus Wheaton (finger)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Jarvis Jones (head)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: T Marcus Gilbert (quad), DE Brett Keisel (abdomen), TE Heath Miller (non-injury related), LB LaMarr Woodley (knee)

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Monroe officially set to make Ravens debut against Packers

Posted on 12 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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Head coach John Harbaugh confirmed what had been considered all but a certainty throughout the week as newly-acquired left tackle Eugene Monroe will not only make his Ravens debut against the Green Bay Packers but will also start.

With more than a week of preparation under his belt after being acquired in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Monroe will replace veteran Bryant McKinnie as the starting left tackle on Sunday. The 26-year-old Monroe has put in long hours at the team’s Owings Mills facility getting caught up to speed with run-game coordinator Juan Castillo and offensive line coach Andy Moeller about the Ravens’ blocking schemes.

“He did a heck of a job this week. He looks good,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I would anticipate that he’ll play quite a bit — possibly start. You might even say probably start at this point — that would be my anticipation right now. Unless something changes between now and then, he’ll be the starter at left tackle.”

Selected with the eighth overall pick of the 2009 draft, Monroe had spent his entire career with the Jaguars before he was traded the Baltimore in exchange for two third-day picks in next year’s draft. He won a total of 22 games in five years with Jacksonville, making it understandable for the University of Virginia product to feel energized in joining the defending Super Bowl champions.

However, Monroe tempered that excitement over his debut on Friday in explaining his need to be on the same page with his new offensive line mates.

“I approach game day the same way I do every week regardless of the situation,” Monroe said. “Excitement’s not an emotion that necessarily helps you perform as far as precision. I’ll need to be precise this week and be on top of my game since everything is brand-new. I am excited, but I’ll be focused.”

Meanwhile, McKinnie revealed to reporters he has been dealing with swelling in his knee and even had it drained recently to ease some of the discomfort.

Harbaugh acknowledged giving McKinnie some rest this week while Monroe received more extensive work with the offensive line, but the veteran took the high road in saying he’ll continue to do his part despite speculation that he could be traded after losing his starting position. It remains unclear whether the Ravens would be willing to weaken their new-found offensive line depth by trading McKinnie.

“Bryant has had a very good week as well,” Harbaugh said. “We didn’t practice him Wednesday just for soreness from the game and things like that, but he’s practiced the rest of the time and he looks good.”

Reports on McClain favorable

Though Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain isn’t eligible to begin practicing until next week as he is currently on the reserve physically unable to perform list, Harbaugh confirmed reports earlier in the week painting an improved medical outlook for the sixth-year defensive player.

McClain sustained a spinal cord contusion last December and hasn’t played since then in waiting for magnetic resonance imaging to show improvement to the point that he can return to football. The Ravens have expressed confidence all along that the inside linebacker would eventually be cleared.

“I think it was reported that he was cleared, and there is some truth to that,” Harbaugh said. “The back specialists have looked at his most recent MRIs, and it’s very favorable. I’m not in position to sit here and say completely 100 percent — I don’t know that. There is a process still involved, but it’s encouraging to say the least. It’s all positive that way.”

Upon McClain’s expected return to the practice field — no starting date has yet been determined — the Ravens would have a 21-day window before they must return him to the 53-man roster, waive him, or place him on season-ending injured reserve.

Harbaugh proud of chest bump fail

Harbaugh gained notoriety earlier in the week for his attempted chest bump that was inadvertently denied by safety James Ihedigbo in last Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins.

The 51-year-old coach presented the clip to his players and showed a strong sense of humor when asked about it on Friday.

“I was kind of proud of the video,” said Harbaugh, drawing laughs from reporters in Owings Mills. “There was some good air between my feet and the ground there, absolutely. Then I played it off a little bit. I kind of turned and gave a little fist pump.”

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