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Campanaro, Suggs practicing for Ravens on Thanksgiving

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Campanaro, Suggs practicing for Ravens on Thanksgiving

Posted on 27 November 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With the Ravens reporting early to work on Thanksgiving, linebacker Terrell Suggs returned to the practice field after sitting out with a foot injury.

The 12th-year linebacker was the only player to miss Wednesday’s workout as rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro (hamstring) and offensive lineman Jah Reid (broken hand) have returned to the practice field this week. Campanaro hasn’t played since injuring his hamstring in the Oct. 26 loss at Cincinnati, but it’s possible the Ravens will continue to ease him back into action this week with thoughts of a return against Miami on Dec. 7.

Campanaro was a limited participant on Wednesday while Reid was a full participant. The latter is practicing with a protective club on his right hand after he injured it a few days before the Week 10 win over Tennessee.

Even though linebacker Elvis Dumervil was absent during the special-teams portion open to media, the veteran practiced on Thursday.

The Ravens reported to their Owings Mills facility at 7:15 a.m. for an early meeting and were practicing earlier than usual as head coach John Harbaugh planned to give them most of the afternoon off to enjoy Thanksgiving with their families. The Ravens brass were not taking a day off, however, as owner Steve Bisciotti, team president Dick Cass, and general manager Ozzie Newsome were all watching practice.

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Suggs misses Wednesday’s practice with foot injury

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Suggs misses Wednesday’s practice with foot injury

Posted on 26 November 2014 by Luke Jones

With a quick turnaround following their Monday night road win over New Orleans, the Ravens were back on the practice field Wednesday with their sights set on the San Diego Chargers.

Linebacker Terrell Suggs was the only player on the 53-man roster absent from practice, but a foot ailment is not expected to prohibit him from playing on Sunday as Baltimore looks to improve to 8-4 on the season. The veteran spoke to reporters on Wednesday as he typically does, a good indication that the injury isn’t considered serious.

Wide receiver Michael Campanaro (thigh) and offensive lineman Jah Reid (broken hand) returned to practice after lengthy absences for each. The rookie wideout hadn’t practiced since injuring his hamstring against Cincinnati on Oct. 26. Reid broke his hand a few days prior to the Week 10 win over Tennessee.

Reid was a full participant while Campanaro practiced on a limited basis.

Linebacker Pernell McPhee was a limited participant with what was listed as a shoulder injury.

For San Diego, rush specialist Dwight Freeney received the day off and linebacker Andrew Gachkar (knee) was absent from Wednesday’s practice.

Below is Wednesday’s full injury report:

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Terrell Suggs (foot)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), LB Pernell McPhee (shoulder)
FULL PARTICIPATION: G Jah Reid (hand)

SAN DIEGO
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: NT Ryan Carrethers (elbow), LB Dwight Freeney (non-injury), LB Andrew Gachkar (knee)
FULL PARTICIPATION: S Jahleel Addae (concussion), RB Ryan Mathews (shoulder), WR Eddie Royal (toe)

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Mosley, Koch among Pro Bowl leaders at their positions

Posted on 26 November 2014 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11/26/14

DENVER BRONCOS QB PEYTON MANNING LEADS

PRO BOWL CHARGE WITH THREE WEEKS OF VOTING

REMAINING ON NFL.COM

– All-Stars to be announced on Pro Bowl Selection Show on

NFL Network on Tuesday, December 23 –

– Stars will be realigned using Fantasy Football-style draft format during

Pro Bowl Draft Show live on NFL Network –

Denver Broncos quarterback PEYTON MANNING, with 576,445 votes, leads all NFL players in balloting for the 2015 Pro Bowl, NFL.com announced today.

Fan voting for the 2015 Pro Bowl, presented by McDonald’s, will continue online and on web-enabled mobile phones by going to http://www.nfl.com/probowl/ballot until Monday, December 15.

Green Bay Packers quarterback AARON RODGERS (498,826 votes) ranks second overall, while Indianapolis Colts quarterback ANDREW LUCK (468,412 votes), New England Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY (461,043 votes), and Dallas Cowboys running back DE MARCO MURRAY (447,561 votes) round out the top five on NFL.com.

Balloting will conclude on Monday, December 15. The Pro Bowl players will be announced on Tuesday, December 23.

Players will later be assigned to teams through the Pro Bowl Draft during the week leading up to the game, which will also air on NFL Network.

The 2015 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 25, 2015 and televised live on ESPN at 8:00 PM ET from University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, site of Super Bowl XLIX.

The Pro Bowl will be “unconferenced” for the second consecutive year.

Last season, the familiar AFC vs. NFC match-up that had existed since 1971 was eliminated. Instead, players are selected without regard to conference in voting by fans, coaches and players. For example, the top six quarterbacks following voting will earn distinction as All-Stars, regardless of how many are from AFC or NFC teams.

Then, the NFL’s All-Stars will be realigned through a fantasy football-style draft.

The Pro Bowl players are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group’s vote counts one-third toward determining the 88 All-Star players who will be eligible for the Pro Bowl Draft.

NFL players and coaches will cast their votes on December 19. The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its all-star teams. It was the first professional sports league to offer online all-star voting in 1995.

Fans interested in purchasing Pro Bowl game tickets may go to www.nfl.com/probowlonsale for more information.

NFL ALL-STAR TOP-TEN VOTE-GETTERS

POS.

NAME, TEAM

VOTES
QB

Peyton Manning, Denver

576,445
QB

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay

498,826
QB

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis

468,412
QB

Tom Brady, New England

461,043
RB

DeMarco Murray, Dallas

447,561
RB

Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh

355,059
WR

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh

344,629
RB

Arian Foster, Houston

321,461
WR

Jordy Nelson, Green Bay

319,920
RB

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle

309,038

NFL LEADING VOTE-GETTERS BY POSITION

POS.

NAME, TEAM

VOTES

POS.

NAME, TEAM

VOTES
QB

Peyton Manning, Denver

576,445

DE

J.J. Watt, Houston

265,215
QB

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay

498,826

DE

DeMarcus Ware, Denver

217,401
RB

DeMarco Murray, Dallas

447,561

DT

Marcell Dareus, Buffalo

177,998
RB

Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh

355,059

DT

Ndamukong Suh, Detroit

144,995
FB

John Kuhn, Green Bay

145,977

OLB

Von Miller, Denver

165,045
FB

Darrel Young, Washington

119,382

OLB

Justin Houston, Kansas City

125,106
WR

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh

344,629

ILB

Luke Kuechly, Carolina

182,900
WR

Jordy Nelson, Green Bay

319,920

ILB

C.J. Mosley, Baltimore

126,670
TE

Rob Gronkowski, New England

302,878

CB

Darrelle Revis, New England

142,876
TE

Julius Thomas, Denver

241,570

CB

Aqib Talib, Denver

131,715
T

Tyron Smith, Dallas

139,729

SS

Kam Chancellor, Seattle

77,180
T

Ryan Clady, Denver

122,432

SS

Donte Whitner, Cleveland

61,487
G

Zack Martin, Dallas

127,908

FS

Tashaun Gipson, Cleveland

120,728
G

Josh Sitton, Green Bay

118,221

FS

Earl Thomas, Seattle

75,001
C

Travis Frederick, Dallas

143,929

P

Sam Koch, Baltimore

66,753
C

Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh

128,232

P

Thomas Morstead, New Orleans

59,069
K

Stephen Gostkowski, New England

122,348

ST

Matt Slater, New England

63,126
K

Dan Bailey, Dallas

101,209

ST

Jarrett Bush, Green Bay

50,187
RS

Devin Hester, Atlanta

87,186

RS

Darren Sproles, Philadelphia

57,243

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Forsett once again named AFC Offensive Player of the Week

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Forsett once again named AFC Offensive Player of the Week

Posted on 26 November 2014 by Luke Jones

The accolades keep coming in a dream season for Ravens running back Justin Forsett as he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old rushed for a career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries to lead the Ravens to a 34-27 win over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night. It’s the second time this season Forsett has won the award after being recognized for his 112-yard, two-touchdown performance against Tennessee in Week 10.

Forsett has already rushed for a career-high 903 yards and seven touchdowns in his first season with the Ravens. He leads all NFL running backs with a 5.8 yards per carry average.

In addition to Forsett taking home AFC Player of the Week awards twice this season, quarterback Joe Flacco received the honor for his five-touchdown performance against Tampa Bay in Week 6. Inside linebacker C.J. Mosley was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for October.

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Judson Richards talks all things San Diego Chargers with Nestor

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Judson Richards talks all things San Diego Chargers with Nestor

Posted on 25 November 2014 by WNST Staff

Judson Richards, host of Chargers Power Hour, talked all things San Diego Chargers with Nestor. Having to travel to the east coast, this matchup for San Diego against Baltimore is not a favorable one for them. Their most recent cross country game ended in an embarrassing 37-0 loss in Miami. They look to avoid such a performance and extend their 2 game winning streak. LISTEN HERE.

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Bernie Wilson recaps the Chargers season thus far with Nestor

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Bernie Wilson recaps the Chargers season thus far with Nestor

Posted on 25 November 2014 by WNST Staff

Nestor caught up with AP reporter Bernie Wilson to talk all things San Diego Chargers. They have had an up and down season thus far starting 5-1 and then losing 3 straight. They now sit at 7-4 looking to make it a third straight win as they roll into Baltimore Sunday. CATCH IT HERE.

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Hank Bauer previews the upcoming Ravens game vs. the Chargers

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Hank Bauer previews the upcoming Ravens game vs. the Chargers

Posted on 25 November 2014 by WNST Staff

Nestor caught up with Hank Bauer to preview an AFC showdown Sunday when the Ravens host the San Diego Chargers. The Ravens and Chargers are coming off impressive wins and sit at 7-4. Both teams could use a win to keep pace in the AFC and their respective divisions. LISTEN HERE.

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McPhee continues doing dirty work for Ravens defense

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McPhee continues doing dirty work for Ravens defense

Posted on 25 November 2014 by Luke Jones

The Ravens had a number of huge performances in the 34-27 win over the New Orleans Saints, but one of their better ones came from a defensive player who didn’t even make a tackle Monday night.

While Elvis Dumervil (two), Terrell Suggs, and C.J. Mosley combined for four sacks, it was situational rush specialist Pernell McPhee who brought the most pressure against Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Playing 28 defensive snaps, McPhee produced four hurries and three quarterback hits, according to Pro Football Focus.

Regularly credited for doing the dirty work up front while Dumervil and Suggs produce higher sack totals, McPhee has been effective as either an edge rusher spelling one of the veterans or as an interior lineman in obvious passing situations. The 280-pounder’s combination of strength and quickness has made him arguably the Ravens’ best inside rusher since Trevor Pryce, so it only made sense that he’d exploit a suspect interior part of the New Orleans offensive line.

McPhee doesn’t produce as many sacks because it’s generally easier for quarterbacks to recognize pressure and get rid of the ball when it’s right in front of them — he primarily lines up inside in sub packages — instead of dealing with rushers coming off the edge, but the 2011 fifth-round pick effectively collapses the pocket and is a key cog in helping to run stunts for others to pick up sacks. Playing fewer snaps than Suggs or Dumervil this season, McPhee leads all Ravens defensive players with 14 quarterback hits and 26 quarterback hurries, per PFF.

The Ravens knew they had something with McPhee in his rookie season when he collected six sacks as a situational rusher, but an array of nagging injuries limited his performance over the last two seasons. McPhee has stayed healthy in 2014 and has proven himself as a productive rusher in defensive coordinator Dean Pees’ rotation.

Keeping McPhee on a pitch count with his playing time appears to have maximized his production while also allowing Suggs and Dumervil to remain fresh, but it will be interesting to see how much interest the Mississippi State product draws this offseason when he becomes a free agent for the first time. In that regard, McPhee collecting only four sacks to this point in the year might be a blessing when trying to quantify his value on the open market.

Despite a suspect secondary that’s dealt with a number of injuries, the Ravens rank fifth in points allowed and 15th in total defense because of the strong play of their front seven with McPhee playing a vital part.

Even if it’s gone unnoticed for large stretches of time like it did Monday night.

 

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Ravens built for strong finish in tight AFC playoff picture

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Ravens built for strong finish in tight AFC playoff picture

Posted on 25 November 2014 by Luke Jones

NEW ORLEANS — The Ravens spent much of the spring and summer insisting they weren’t going to entertain thoughts of last season when they missed the playoffs for the first time under head coach John Harbaugh.

But linebacker Terrell Suggs wanted his teammates to remember exactly what happened a year ago as they returned from their bye this past week with a crucial road game at New Orleans staring them in the eye. It’s safe to say the Ravens responded to the veteran’s message with a crucial 34-27 win over the Saints to improve to 7-4, keeping pace in a combative and tight AFC North.

“Down this stretch, this is important,” said Suggs, who pressured quarterback Drew Brees into throwing an interception returned for a touchdown by safety Will Hill to give Baltimore the lead for good in the third quarter. “Last year, this is where we kind of lost ourselves, we kind of lost our way. Unfortunately, we were left out of the playoffs on the outside looking in. We don’t want to feel like that this year.”

Over the years, the Ravens have taken pride in saying they’re built for December and January, but the label didn’t fit last season as they couldn’t run the ball and struggled to pressure opposing quarterbacks down the stretch. Needing only one win in their final two weeks to secure a playoff spot, the Ravens lost their final two games by a combined 51 points.

If Monday night’s win was any indicator, the Ravens are primed to finish strong and make it back to the postseason — even with a very tight playoff picture. And it begins with Justin Forsett and the improved play of the offensive line under new coordinator Gary Kubiak.

Rushing for a career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns, Forsett continues to be one of the best stories of the 2014 season as his 5.8 yards per carry average leads all NFL running backs by a sizable margin. The offensive line consistently opens running lanes and the 29-year-old keeps finding daylight as he did repeatedly against New Orleans Monday night.

It’s the kind of style that should hold up nicely down the stretch for three more cold-weather games in Baltimore and whatever January could bring.

“Justin — awesome job, obviously, all year,” said quarterback Joe Flacco, who was very efficient in completing 18 of 24 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown. “The work he’s putting in, the results he’s getting and what he’s doing for this team was huge. Our offensive line’s doing a good job, and they’re creating those seams. He’s got good vision. He’s not letting the guy tackle him in the hole with his arms or anything like that. He’s breaking those little things.”

Defensively, the numbers looked ugly Monday as the Ravens surrendered 525 total yards, but the eyeball test was far more acceptable. Aside from Joseph Morgan’s 67-yard run on the second play from scrimmage, the Saints only ran for 59 yards on 20 carries.

The Ravens put plenty of heat on Brees as Elvis Dumervil collected two of four sacks total and the pass rush recorded eight quarterback hits in all. The secondary continues to be an area of concern and will likely remain that way for the rest of the season, but the emergence of Hill gives coordinator Dean Pees at least one defensive back with some playmaking ability and a consistent pass rush goes a long way in hiding vulnerabilities on the back end.

Much of the success of a 7-4 start can be attributed to the Ravens’ ability to win at the line of scrimmage, whether talking about their offensive line or the front seven’s ability to stop the run and wreak havoc on quarterbacks. It’s cliched to talk about dominating the trenches, but Baltimore has a great chance to punch its ticket to the playoffs by continuing to do just that.

How would the Ravens stack up against the likes of high-powered offenses like New England or Denver in the playoffs? They have to worry about getting to January first playing in a division where all teams are three games above .500 — the first time that’s happened in NFL history, per the Elias Sports Bureau.

“You’re going to have to win a lot of games to win the division,” Harbaugh said. “You’re going to have win a lot of games to make the playoffs in our conference. It’s just a fact. You’re going to need every win you can get.”

The Ravens appear well equipped to play into January with a strong running game and one of the best front sevens in football. It’s a profile that holds up well against most opponents, home or away.

And it allows them to overcome their weaknesses, something they were able to do Monday night in one of their biggest road wins in recent memory.

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Ravens-Saints: Inactives and pre-game notes

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Ravens-Saints: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 24 November 2014 by Luke Jones

NEW ORLEANS — Returning to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the first time in the regular season since Super Bowl XLVII, the Ravens will try to keep pace in the AFC North by handing the New Orleans Saints their third straight home defeat.

With Cleveland and Cincinnati picking up road wins on Sunday, the urgency has only increased for the Ravens, who started the day in sole possession of last place despite a 6-4 record that leaves them in the thick of the AFC playoff race.

Coming off their bye week, the Ravens’ 53-man roster is in good shape from a health standpoint as wide receiver Michael Campanaro (hamstring) and offensive lineman Jah Reid (broken hand) were the only players scratched due to injury.

After being active for the Ravens’ last two games, second-year linebacker Arthur Brown is inactive for the ninth time this season. Brown only saw time as a special-teams player against Pittsburgh and Tennessee.

Defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson is also inactive for a second straight game after making four starts earlier this year in place of the injured Chris Canty. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees will once again use Lawrence Guy in the defensive line rotation with Tyson and veteran Terrence Cody both listed as healthy inactives.

Meanwhile, the Saints will be without backup running back Khiry Robinson, but they will welcome back veteran Pierre Thomas, who will play in his first game since Week 7. Thomas had been sidelined with shoulder and rib injuries sustained against Detroit on Oct. 19.

The Saints are also reeling in the secondary with safety Rafael Bush suffering a season-ending leg injury last week. Cornerback Keenan Lewis is active and will start, but he has been slowed by a knee injury recently.

Veteran wide receiver Robert Meachem (ankle) is inactive after being limited in practices all week. The Saints lost rookie wideout Brandin Cooks for the season last week, so quarterback Drew Brees will have fewer weapons at his disposal against the league’s 21st-ranked pass defense.

The Ravens will be playing New Orleans for the sixth time in their regular-season history as they own a 4-1 record. Baltimore won the only regular-season meeting between the teams in New Orleans back in 2006. Quarterback Drew Brees will be trying to beat Baltimore for the first time in his career, which would give him a victory over all 32 NFL teams in his impeccable career.

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

The Ravens will be wearing white jerseys with black pants while New Orleans dons its black tops with black pants.

Below are Monday night’s inactives:

BALTIMORE
NT Terrence Cody
WR Michael Campanaro
LB Arthur Brown
DE DeAngelo Tyson
C Gino Gradkowski
CB Rashaan Melvin
OL Jah Reid

NEW ORLEANS
WR Robert Meachem
RB Khiry Robinson
CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste
CB Terrence Frederick
LB Kyle Knox
OT Nick Becton
DE Brandon Deaderick

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