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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Picks and Comment – Week 13

Posted on 27 November 2013 by Luke Jones

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

Here are this weekend’s picks as The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction will pick every NFL game and local college games this season.

Luke Jones finished Week 12 with a 5-8 record while Drew Forrester was 8-5 on his picks. Entering Week 13, Jones is 103-72 on the season while Forrester is 104-71. Official standings are based only on the NFL picks.

You can listen to Wednesday’s “Picks and Comment” segment HERE.

Steelers at Ravens: Baltimore 26-20 (Drew), Pittsburgh 17-13 (Luke)
Packers at Lions: Detroit 27-20 (Drew), Detroit 27-17 (Luke)
Raiders at Cowboys: Dallas 31-14 (Drew), Dallas 34-21 (Luke)
Titans at Colts: Tennessee 23-21 (Drew), Indianapolis 27-20 (Luke)
Jaguars at Browns: Cleveland 13-9 (Drew), Cleveland 17-10 (Luke)
Buccaneers at Panthers: Carolina 24-16 (Drew), Carolina 23-10 (Luke)
Bears at Vikings: Minnesota 33-16 (Drew), Minnesota 26-17 (Luke)
Patriots at Texans: New England 38-13 (Drew), New England 31-15 (Luke)
Cardinals at Eagles: Arizona 21-20 (Drew), Arizona 24-23 (Luke)
Dolphins at Jets: New York 24-17 (Drew), Miami 20-16 (Luke)
Broncos at Chiefs: Denver 34-20 (Drew), Denver 28-17 (Luke)
Falcons at Bills: Buffalo 20-13 (Drew), Atlanta 21-20 (Luke)
Rams at 49ers: San Francisco 27-12 (Drew), San Francisco 24-14 (Luke)
Bengals at Chargers: Cincinnati 30-27 (Drew), San Diego 31-24 (Luke)
Redskins at Giants: Washington 24-17 (Drew), New York 24-17 (Luke)
Saints at Seahawks: New Orleans 21-17 (Drew), Seattle 24-23 (Luke)
Maryland at NC State: Wolfpack 17-16 (Drew), Wolfpack 24-16 (Luke)

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Picks and Comment – Week 12

Posted on 22 November 2013 by Luke Jones

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

Here are this weekend’s picks as The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction will pick every NFL game and local college games this season.

Luke Jones finished Week 11 with a 10-5 record while Drew Forrester was 10-5 on his picks. Entering Week 12, Jones is 98-64 on the season while Forrester is 96-66. Official standings are based only on the NFL picks.

Forrester and Jones correctly picked New Orleans to beat Atlanta to kick off Week 12.

You can listen to Friday’s “Picks and Comment” segment HERE.

Jets at Ravens: Baltimore 23-9 (Drew), Baltimore 19-12 (Luke)
Steelers at Browns: Pittsburgh 17-16 (Drew), Pittsburgh 20-17 (Luke)
Buccaneers at Lions: Detroit 30-10 (Drew), Detroit 27-14 (Luke)
Jaguars at Texans: Houston 24-13 (Drew), Houston 20-12 (Luke)
Vikings at Packers: Green Bay 27-20 (Drew), Green Bay 23-16 (Luke)
Chargers at Chiefs: San Diego 27-24 (Drew), Kansas City 24-21 (Luke)
Panthers at Dolphins: Miami 21-20 (Drew), Carolina 24-16 (Luke)
Bears at Rams: St. Louis 30-20 (Drew), Chicago 27-20 (Luke)
Titans at Raiders: Tennessee 17-10 (Drew), Oakland 20-16 (Luke)
Colts at Cardinals: Indianapolis 23-20 (Drew), Indianapolis 24-23 (Luke)
Cowboys at Giants: Dallas 33-30 (Drew), New York 26-21 (Luke)
Broncos at Patriots: Denver 34-23 (Drew), Denver 31-21 (Luke)
49ers at Redskins: San Francisco 24-20 (Drew), San Francisco 23-17 (Luke)
Boston College at Maryland: Eagles 20-14 (Drew), Terrapins 20-17 (Luke)
James Madison at Towson: Tigers 33-22 (Drew), Tigers 31-20 (Luke)
Navy at San Jose State: Spartans 28-23 (Drew), Midshipmen 24-20 (Luke)
Morgan State at Delaware State: Hornets 29-19 (Drew), Hornets 23-13 (Luke)

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Ngata only Ravens player missing from Wednesday’s practice

Posted on 20 November 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 received good news Wednesday with tight end Dennis Pitta’s return to the practice field, but Pro Bowl nose tackle Haloti Ngata remained sidelined with a left knee injury.

After missing Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears, Ngata was absent as the Ravens cranked up preparations for the New York Jets. The defensive lineman missed all three practices last week and was ruled inactive last Sunday, missing his first game of the 2013 season.

Coach John Harbaugh declined comment on the decision to hold Ngata out following Sunday’s game and would not reveal whether the weather conditions at Soldier Field contributed to the eighth-year defensive tackle being held out.

“I’m not getting in to all that. There’s no reason for us to put that out there publicly,” Harbaugh said during his Monday press conference. “What advantage would there be for us to comment on that? It wouldn’t help us. But, I appreciate you asking. I understand why you do. It’s fair, in all honesty. I just don’t want to put that out there right now.”

Linebacker Daryl Smith (thigh) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (abs) were both limited participants on Wednesday after both players missed practice time last week before playing against the Bears.

Rookie wide receiver Marlon Brown (knee) was a full participant after missing Sunday’s game as the poor field conditions were a factor in the decision to rule him inactive.

As announced earlier in the day, tight end Dennis Pitta (hip) took part in practice, playing catch and running routes at half-speed during the portion of practice open to reporters. The Ravens are not required to list Pitta on the injury report since he is not currently on the 53-man roster.

Pitta’s return to practice triggers the start of a 21-day window in which he can work with the team before a decision must be made on his roster standing. If the Ravens do not place Pitta on the active roster at the end of the three-week period — they may activate him sooner, of course — he must remain on injured reserve for the rest of the season.

“It’s impossible to say, really,” said Harbaugh when asked about a timetable for Pitta’s return to live-game action. “Withing getting ahead of ourselves here, as soon as possible. But safety is No. 1 and his ability to perform out there are the two factors in that.”

For the Jets, wide receiver Santonio Holmes (foot/hamstring) and linebacker Garrett McIntyre (knee) did not participate in Wednesday’s practice.

Here is Wednesday’s injury report:

DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DT Haloti Ngata (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Daryl Smith (thigh), CB Lardarius Webb (Abs)
FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Marlon Brown (knee), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh)

DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR Santonio Holmes (foot/hamstring), LB Garrett McIntyre (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Jeremy Kerley (elbow), TE Kellen Winslow (knee)
FULL PARTICIPATION: OL Willie Colon (calf), CB Antonio Cromartie (hip), DL Kenrick Ellis (back), QB David Garrard (knee), WR Stephen Hill (knee), WR Greg Salas (finger)

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Webb, Ngata, D. Smith missing from Wednesday’s practice

Posted on 13 November 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. — Fresh off their best defensive performance of the season in Week 10, the Ravens were without three defensive starters in returning to the practice field on Wednesday to continue preparations for the Chicago Bears.

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, cornerback Lardarius Webb, and linebacker Daryl Smith were all absent during Wednesday’s practice. Ngata temporarily left Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals with a left knee injury but returned to action and deemed himself fine in the Ravens locker room following the game.

Smith missed two days of practice last week while dealing with a hamstring injury and left the field gingerly in overtime of Sunday’s game, acknowledging to reporters afterward that his hamstring was still tight. The 31-year-old linebacker was listed as questionable on the final injury report for the Bengals game before finishing with nine tackles.

Webb (groin) recorded his first interception of the year against the Bengals and did not appear to be laboring when speaking to reporters after the game, making it possible that Wednesday was a simple day of rest for the No. 1 cornerback. Sliding inside to the nickel position in sub packages, Webb was an active blitzer and finished with five tackles and six pass breakups.

Safety James Ihedigbo (toe) and cornerback Jimmy Smith (groin) were limited participants after playing in Sunday’s game against the Bengals. They were listed as questionable on last week’s injury report.

Starting left guard A.Q. Shipley was present and working during Wednesday’s practice after temporarily leaving Sunday’s game with a neck stinger.

The Bears have already ruled out quarterback Jay Cutler (ankle) and linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) for Sunday’s game at Soldier Field.

Here is Wednesday’s report:

DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DT Haloti Ngata (knee), LB Daryl Smith (thigh), CB Lardarius Webb (groin)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: S James Ihedigbo (toe), CB Jimmy Smith (groin)
FULL PARTICIPATION: RB Bernard Pierce (toe/knee), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh)

OUT: LB Lance Briggs (shoulder), QB Jay Cutler (ankle)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LS Patrick Mannelly (calf), DE Shea McClellin (hamstring), DT Jeremiah Ratliff (groin)

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Ravens-Bengals: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 10 November 2013 by Luke Jones

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

BALTIMORE — Approaching must-win territory this early in a season for quite some time, the Ravens look to snap a three-game losing streak while narrowing the gap in the AFC North when they take on the division-leading Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon.

At 3-5 and trailing Cincinnati by 2 1/2 games entering Week 10, the Ravens have little margin for error if they want to advance to the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year under head coach John Harbaugh. Baltimore is trying to avoid a third straight division loss and is off to its worst start through eight games since the 2005 season.

A banged-up Ravens defense will have the tall order of slowing Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green and the league’s seventh-ranked passing game, but defensive backs James Ihedigbo (toe), Jimmy Smith (groin), and Corey Graham (calf) are all active and will play. In addition, starting inside linebacker Daryl Smith was deemed active after dealing with what was listed as a thigh injury all week.

The Ravens ruled second-year cornerback Asa Jackson inactive, making you assume they’re confident in the health of both Smith and Graham in the secondary. Rookie defensive tackle Brandon Williams was the only other player ruled inactive that could be deemed a surprise as the Bengals average 106.8 rushing yards per game despite their passing game being their biggest strength.

Former Bengals running back Bernard Scott is a healthy scratch for the second straight week and will not have an opportunity to face his former team.

Meanwhile, the Bengals will be without starting tight end Jermaine Gresham, who tested out his injured groin during pre-game warmups but was deemed inactive. As expected, rookie running back Giovani Bernard (ribs) is active. Cincinnati is already reeling from the loss of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins, who suffered a torn ACL in the Week 9 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

The Bengals are also without starting inside linebacker Rey Maualuga, who continues to be sidelined by a knee injury.

The Ravens have won four of their last five games over the Bengals, with their only defeat over that stretch coming in Week 17 last season when they rested an overwhelming number of starters after wrapping up the AFC North title a week earlier. Baltimore leads the all-time series by a 19-15 margin and are 12-5 at home.

Sunday’s referee will be Walt Coleman.

The forecast calls for temperatures in the low 60s, but winds up to 20 miles per hour could wreak havoc for both teams’ passing attacks and kicking game at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens will wear purple jerseys with black pants while Cincinnati dons white jerseys with black pants.

Here are Sunday’s inactives:

CB Asa Jackson
S Omar Brown
RB Bernard Scott
C Ryan Jensen
WR Brandon Stokley
LB John Simon
DT Brandon Williams

TE Jermaine Gresham
CB Chris Lewis-Harris
LB Michael Boley
LB Rey Maualuga
C Trevor Robinson
G Tanner Hawkinson
DT Devon Still

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

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After post-bye clunker, “What now?” becomes Ravens’ biggest question

Posted on 03 November 2013 by Luke Jones

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

Coming off the Week 8 bye was supposed to be a chance for the Ravens to start anew after a rocky 3-4 start to the 2013 season.

With the division-leading Cincinnati Bengals losing on Thursday night and most of the AFC wild-card contenders looking mortal, the Ravens simply needed a win — no matter how it looked — to get back to .500 and begin the second half of the season on a positive note. A week off not only gave players a chance to rest but provided head coach John Harbaugh and his staff the time to make much-needed corrections in all phases of the game.

Instead, the Ravens responded with an ugly 24-18 loss to the Cleveland Browns, snapping an 11-game winning streak over their AFC North foe and digging an even bigger hole in their quest to advance to the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. Expecting the bye week to provide a much-needed tuneup, the Ravens instead stalled getting out of their driveway as they’re now off to their worst start since the 2005 season.

And the question echoing over and over in the closing seconds as the Browns finished a scoring drive lasting more than six minutes was a frightening one.

What now?

A running game averaging a league-worst 2.8 yards per carry entering Sunday produced only 55 yards on 21 carries with quarterback Joe Flacco accounting for 25 of those on three scrambles. The offensive line was once again dominated at the point of attack and Ray Rice finished with 17 yards on 11 carries, not looking any more explosive or elusive despite claims that he was once again 100 percent.

Though once again plagued with a running game that was a non-factor and suspect pass protection for much of the day, Flacco played poorly through much of the first half, missing several open receivers and throwing a head-scratching interception late in the second quarter. To his credit, the sixth-year signal caller rebounded over the game’s final 30 minutes, but his poor first-half showing was disappointing coming off the bye and was a major factor in the Ravens offense once again getting off to a slow start.

The defense allowed veteran Jason Campbell to throw for 262 yards and three touchdowns and, even worse, wasn’t able to get a stop at a crucial point in the second half for the third straight game — all losses. Dean Pees’ unit hasn’t been the biggest problem this season, but the Ravens defense simply hasn’t been able to come up with a big play when it needs it late in games unlike stellar units of the past that often carried inferior offenses.

Not to be outdone by the first two phases, the special teams were a major problem as well as normally sure-handed punt returner Tandon Doss muffed a punt at his own 11-yard line, setting up the Browns’ third touchdown of the game in the third quarter and putting the Ravens behind 21-10. And punter Sam Koch continued his rough season, failing to pin the Browns inside the 20 on three separate opportunities kicking inside Cleveland territory in a game in which field position loomed large.

Hoping for the light to come on after the bye, the Ravens looked like they did in the first seven games of the season — appearing to be a below-average football team.

How does it get fixed? Can it be fixed this season?

The Ravens are as healthy as they’re going to be until the expected return of Dennis Pitta later this month, but the talented tight end isn’t going to remedy all of the team’s problems. At this rate, the Ravens may not be in a position for Pitta’s return to matter in terms of their playoff hopes for 2013.

General manager Ozzie Newsome and Harbaugh have already trimmed fat on the roster with the jettisoning of veterans Michael Huff, Marcus Spears, and Bryant McKinnie. Many are clamoring for the ax to fall on run-game coordinator Juan Castillo, but there have already been murmurs that his influence has waned since the bye week with offensive line coach Andy Moeller now having a louder voice.

If Castillo were to be fired — a move that would be very difficult to challenge at this point — do the likes of Marshal Yanda and Michael Oher suddenly start winning one-on-one battles that they’ve lost too often this season?

The answers aren’t simple when you have issues all over the place and that’s where the Ravens find themselves as they began the month of November with their third loss in the last four games. There’s a certain amount of understanding that comes with the struggles of unproven players like Gino Gradkowski and veteran newcomers who simply don’t fit, but a number of veterans who have been counted on year in and year out have been even bigger disappointments, which brings greater concern for the future.

Even with the problems along the offensive line, it’s getting more difficult every week to dispute the growing notion that Rice’s best days are behind him. He continues to struggle to break any tackles in the open field and no longer looks like the home-run hitter on which the Ravens relied for years. Rice has three years remaining on his current contract and is scheduled to account for $8.75 million on next year’s cap.

Oher and Yanda have appeared to be shells of their former selves, which might not be as problematic with the former scheduled to become a free agent, but the Pro Bowl right guard has a cap figure of $8.45 million next year and is under contract through the 2015 season.

Top cornerback Lardarius Webb was faked out of his shoes by Browns receiver Davone Bess on a 20-yard touchdown in the second quarter Sunday and has struggled to find his pre-injury form coming back from ACL surgery, but he certainly deserves some benefit of the doubt and should get stronger in the second half of the season. Still, he carries a $10.5 million cap figure in 2014 and is being paid as one of the best cornerbacks in the league.

Having arguably the worst season of his career, Koch carries a $2.8 million cap figure next year, which is a high number for a punter not getting the job done.

And perhaps the most disappointing and concerning of the group of standouts failing to deliver in 2013 is defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who holds a $16 million cap number next season and no longer looks like the game-wrecker he was before the Ravens signed him to a five-year, $61 million contract in 2011. For the third straight season, nagging injuries are limiting his impact in games.

Regardless of what happens over the final eight games in terms of the Ravens trying to rebound to extend their run of five consecutive playoff appearances to a sixth, Newsome and Harbaugh must be in evaluation mode when it comes to the aforementioned players. Some contracts have bigger cap ramifications than others, but it’s a scary proposition to be forced to reconsider your thinking on players who previously weren’t of any concern — and carry huge price tags.

The debate went on through much of the offseason whether the Ravens were rebuilding or simply reloading after a slew of personnel changes. The result to this point has been a flawed roster that will need to go 6-2 in the second half of the season just to give the Ravens a chance at 9-7.

And barring a drastic turnaround in the final eight games, the Ravens will be forced to start thinking about their offseason much sooner than anyone anticipated.

And they’ll definitely have their work cut out for them.

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Picks and Comment – Week 9

Posted on 01 November 2013 by Luke Jones

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

Here are this weekend’s picks as The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction will pick every NFL game, local college games, and their respective high school games this season.

Luke Jones finished Week 8 with a 9-4 record while Drew Forrester was 10-3 on his picks. Entering Week 9, Jones is 73-47 on the season while Forrester is 74-46. Official standings are based only on the NFL picks.

Jones and Forrester incorrectly picked Cincinnati to defeat Miami to kick off Week 9.

You can listen to Friday’s “Picks and Comment” segment HERE.

Ravens at Browns: Baltimore 20-12 (Drew), Baltimore 20-16 (Luke)
Falcons at Panthers: Carolina 27-13 (Drew), Carolina 24-16 (Luke)
Vikings at Cowboys: Dallas 34-13 (Drew), Dallas 31-17 (Luke)
Saints at Jets: New Orleans 30-24 (Drew), New Orleans 24-17 (Luke)
Titans at Rams: St. Louis 24-20 (Drew), Tennessee 21-13 (Luke)
Chiefs at Bills: Buffalo 21-20 (Drew), Kansas City 17-14 (Luke)
Chargers at Redskins: San Diego 33-30 (Drew), Washington 28-24 (Luke)
Eagles at Raiders: Oakland 21-16 (Drew), Oakland 23-13 (Luke)
Buccaneers at Seahawks: Seattle 30-9 (Drew), Seattle 31-10 (Luke)
Steelers at Patriots: Pittsburgh 24-20 (Drew), New England 23-17 (Luke)
Colts at Texans: Indianapolis 27-17 (Drew), Indianapolis 23-21 (Luke)
Bears at Packers: Green Bay 38-23 (Drew), Green Bay 31-17 (Luke)
Delaware at Towson: Tigers 35-30 (Drew), Tigers 34-27 (Luke)
Navy at Notre Dame: Fighting Irish 30-20 (Drew), Fighting Irish 24-14 (Luke)
Hampston at Morgan State: Bears 33-27 (Drew), Bears 23-20 (Luke)
Glen Burnie at South River: Gophers 31-7 (Drew), Seahawks 34-0 (Luke)
Dover at Susquehannock: Eagles 27-7 (Drew), Warriors 14-13 (Luke)

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Ravens exploring trade before Tuesday’s deadline?

Posted on 28 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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

With Tuesday’s trade deadline quickly approaching and the Ravens returning to work after their Week 8 bye, there has been plenty of discussion over general manager Ozzie Newsome potentially having another trick up his sleeve to augment the defending Super Bowl champions.

Below the .500 mark this late in a season for the first time in the John Harbaugh era, the 3-4 Ravens would benefit from a potential upgrade at a number of positions, including wide receiver, tight end, center, and even safety. History suggests that most trade discussion results in being little more than talk-radio material as the NFL’s deadline activity pales in comparison to the other professional sports in most seasons, but Harbaugh wouldn’t say whether he anticipated a move being made on Monday afternoon.

“I wouldn’t comment on that anyway if I did,” Harbaugh said, “so it’s probably best just to stay away from that.”

Though not entirely impossible, imagining the Ravens pulling off a second in-season trade after dealing fourth- and fifth-round picks to Jacksonville for left tackle Eugene Monroe earlier this month seems like a stretch after Newsome had never completed a trade in the middle of a season in the 18-year history of the franchise. Baltimore is also working with slightly less than $2 million in salary cap space, eliminating many scenarios for high-priced players who might become available.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Ravens are “deep in the process” of trying to add a wide receiver as a number of intriguing names are reportedly on the market, but what that exactly means remains to be seen as Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline approaches.

Here’s a list of the plausible names — Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald and his gigantic contract don’t fit that description — being discussed with a thought on each:

Kenny Britt, Tennessee
Contract status: 2013 base salary of $897,500 and will become a free agent at the end of the season
Skinny: The Titans’ reported asking price of a third-round pick is way too high and will likely come down, but is Britt even worth a late pick with the lack of production accompanying his well-documented baggage off the field?

Josh Gordon, Cleveland
Contract status: 2013 base salary of $558,355 and has two years remaining on his rookie deal
Skinny: I’m still trying to figure out exactly why the Browns want to trade a talented — and admittedly troubled — 6-foot-3 receiver in his second year, but they surely aren’t dealing him to a division rival for any kind of reasonable price. 

Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants
Contract status: 2013 base salary of $2.75 million and will become a free agent at the end of the season
Skinny: The Giants have said consistently that they’re not trading Nicks and a two-game winning streak actually gives them a shot in the mediocre NFC East, meaning they’ll be asking for way too much to even entertain the possibility. 

Greg Little, Cleveland
Contract status: 2013 base salary of $602,500 with one year remaining on his rookie deal
Skinny: Too many drops and not enough upside make this unappealing and the Browns aren’t looking to do Baltimore any favors as was already mentioned.

Jon Baldwin, San Francisco
Contract status: 2013 base salary of $1.061 million with one year remaining on his rookie deal
Skinny: This third-year wideout has already been traded once and has three receptions this season for the receiver-needy 49ers, making you wonder why any team would give up anything for this 2011 draft bust.

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Rice, Canty, six others listed as questionable for Sunday’s game

Posted on 27 September 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 appear to feel good about their chances of getting Pro Bowl running back back for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills as Ray Rice practiced for the third straight day on Friday.

Rice is listed as questionable — along with seven other teammates — for Sunday’s game after practicing on a limited basis all week. He was moving around effectively during the portion of practice open to the media on Friday morning. Should he return, the sixth-year back will be facing a run defense tied for 30th in the NFL and giving up 155 yards per game on the ground.

“We stand by the fact that we’re hoping [Rice will] get there,” coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s got a better chance than he had last week. He has practiced, to an extent, throughout the course of the week, and we’ll know Sunday.”

Rice took his inability to play last week in stride, especially after he knew his hip flexor strain would not be the type of injury to keep him out for any extended period of time.

In the first two games of the season, Rice carried 25 times for 72 yards and a touchdown. He credited his teammates for the way they played in his absence in the 30-9 win over Houston. He told reporters on Friday that he tried as much as he could to push his hip to the limit to test how it could hold up against the Bills on Sunday.

“The week went as expected. I was very smart out there,” Rice said. “It did feel good to get three days worth of work in. Barring [any] setbacks, there’s a chance I could be out there on Sunday. Obviously, I have to go out there and warm up and see how it feels and let coaches make the decision for me.”

Defensive end Chris Canty (groin), linebacker Arthur Brown (pectoral), wide receiver Deonte Thompson (foot), defensive tackle Brandon Williams (toe), and running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) were also listed as questionable for Sunday’s game after taking part in Friday’s practice. Rush specialist Pernell McPhee is questionable after he missed practices on Wednesday and Thursday while recovering from a sore knee.

Veteran wide receiver Brandon Stokley was a new addition to Friday’s injury report and was listed as questionable against the Bills after being limited with a groin injury in the final practice of the week. Rookie receiver Marlon Brown (neck) was a full participant on Thursday and Friday and is probable to play on Sunday.

“You’ve got all the guys who have been injured — some just last week and some before — and practiced will be game-time decisions,” Harbaugh said. “They all have a chance to get there, and we’re really hopeful in each one of their cases that they can play, but something could come up. It could not feel right on Sunday. I doubt it will be 100 percent [of them playing], but we’d love for it to be 100 percent.”

The only players not taking part in Friday’s workout were wide receiver Jacoby Jones (knee), defensive tackle Terrence Cody (knee), and offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (foot). Jones was ruled out for Sunday’s game earlier in the week while the latter two were designated as doubtful and are not expected to play in Week 4.

Meanwhile, the Bills ruled out five players and listed two key members of their secondary as questionable for Sunday’s game. Cornerback Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) and free safety Jairus Byrd (foot) were limited in practices all week.

Defensive end Mario Williams, defensive tackle Kyle Williams, running back C.J. Spiller, and wide receiver Stevie Johnson were all designated as probable.

Referee Jerome Boger and his crew will officiate Sunday’s game in Orchard Park, N.Y. between the Ravens and Bills. He was the referee for Super Bowl XLVII.

Sunday’s forecast calls for a high of 71 degrees and mostly cloudy skies.

Here is the final injury report of the week:

OUT: WR Jacoby Jones (knee)
DOUBTFUL: DT Terrence Cody (knee), C Ryan Jensen (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Arthur Brown (chest), DE Chris Canty (thigh), RB Shaun Draughn (ankle), LB/DE Pernell McPhee (knee), RB Ray Rice (hip), WR Brandon Stokley (groin), WR Deonte Thompson (foot), DT Brandon Williams (toe)
PROBABLE: WR Marlon Brown (neck)

OUT: K Dustin Hopkins (r. groin), CB Stephon Gilmore (wrist), CB Ron Brooks (foot), WR Marquise Goodwin (hand), DT Alex Carrington (quad)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Leodis McKelvin (hamstring), FS Jarius Byrd (foot)
PROBABLE: WR Stevie Johnson (hamstring), RB C.J. Spiller (quad), G Doug Legursky (knee), G Kraig Urbik (knee), DE Mario Williams (ankle), DT Kyle Williams (Achilles), DT Marcell Dareus (ankle)

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Rice, Canty return to practice; rookie M. Brown sits out

Posted on 25 September 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. — Ravens coach John Harbaugh expressed optimism Wednesday that Ray Rice would be able to play against the Buffalo Bills and the Pro Bowl running back’s return to practice so early in the week is a strong predictor of that happening.

The sixth-year practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday after missing his first game since the 2008 season in the win over the Houston Texans. Harbaugh’s willingness to talk about Rice’s return to practice supports the notion that the running back was close to being able to play on Sunday despite being listed as doubtful on last week’s injury report.

“Very hopeful. I would expect that,” said Harbaugh when asked whether he thought Rice would practice this week. “That’s the plan right now. We’re going to try to get him out there [Wednesday] and see what he can do, and we’ll have our fingers crossed.”

Defensive end Chris Canty (groin), linebacker Arthur Brown (pectoral), and wide receiver Deonte Thompson (foot) were also limited in their return to the practice field as it appears the Ravens are slowly but surely getting healthier. Of those three, Brown appeared to be very limited as he wore a yellow cap on his helmet.

Thompson practiced on a limited basis last Wednesday before sitting out the final two workouts of the week and told reporters that he would really test out his foot to see how close he is to returning to the field. The second-year wide receiver hasn’t practiced since injuring his foot in the preseason opener on Aug. 8.

If he’s able to play against Buffalo, Thompson would provide the Ravens another option in the kickoff return game as Tandon Doss and Shaun Draughn have handled those duties over the last two weeks. Draughn suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 3, which could leave the Ravens thin in the return game.

“I’m coming along great,” Thompson said. “We’re going to go out today and see how I feel and try to do a lot on it and see how it holds up. There’s still some soreness in [the foot]. We’ll definitely know after this week.”

Wide receivers Jacoby Jones (knee) and Marlon Brown (neck), outside linebacker Pernell McPhee (knee), nose tackle Terrence Cody (knee), Draughn (ankle), and offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (foot) did not participate in Monday’s workout. Harbaugh expressed significant doubt that Cody would be able to play in Week 4 after he injured his knee in the first quarter of the win over the Houston Texans.

Jones has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game as he continues to rehab the MCL injury he suffered in the season opener on Sept. 5.

Listed as a limited particdipant, defensive tackle Brandon Williams (toe) was practicing once again after he was a limited participant in practices last week. He did not play against the Texans, but he appears to have a chance to make his return to action for the first time since injuring his toe in the preseason finale on Aug. 29.

During the viewing portion of practice, left tackle Bryant McKinnie appeared to be limited and was not taking his normal number of practice reps. Both of his ankles were taped, but it was unclear whether he suffered an injury in Sunday’s game and wasn’t listed on the injury report.

Newly-claimed safety Jeromy Miles was taking part in practice and wearing No. 36 while rookie safety Brynden Trawick officially became part of the Ravens’ practice squad.

Linebacker Brandon Copeland was waived to make room for Trawick on the developmental squad.

For Buffalo, 10 players sat out Wednesday’s practice including defensive end Mario Williams (ankle), defensive tackle Kyle Williams, wide receiver Stevie Johnson (hamstring), and cornerback Leodis McKelvin (hamstring).

However, starting running back C.J. Spiller (quadriceps) was a full participant for the Bills.

Here is the official injury report for Wednesday:

OUT: WR Jacoby Jones (knee)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR Marlon Brown (neck), DT Terrence Cody (knee), RB Shaun Draughn (ankle), C Ryan Jensen (foot), LB/DE Pernell McPhee (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Arthur Brown (chest), DE Chris Canty (thigh), RB Ray Rice (hip), WR Deonte Thompson (foot), DT Brandon Williams (toe)

DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DB Ron Brooks (foot), DT Alex Carrington (quad), CB Stephon Gilmore (wrist), WR Marquise Goodwin (hand), K Dustin Hopkins (R. groin), WR Stevie Johnson (hamstring), CB Leodis McKelvin (hamstring), G Kraig Urbik (knee), DT Kyle Williams (achilles), DE Mario Williams (ankle)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: FS Jarius Byrd (foot), DT Marcell Dareus (ankle)
FULL PARTICIPATION: G Doug Legursky (knee), RB C.J. Spiller (quad)

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